<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 2PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 25SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
SUBCHAPTER CINFRASTRUCTURE AND RELIABILITY
RULE §25.55Weather Emergency Preparedness

(a) Application. This section applies to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) and to generation entities and transmission service providers (TSPs) in the ERCOT power region. A generation resource with an ERCOT-approved notice of suspension of operations for the 2021-2022 winter weather season is not required to be in compliance under this section until it is returned to service.

(b) Definitions. In this section, the following definitions apply unless the context indicates otherwise.

  (1) Cold weather critical component--Any component that is susceptible to freezing or icing, the occurrence of which is likely to significantly hinder the ability of a resource or transmission system to function as intended and, for a generation entity, to lead to a trip, derate, or failure to start of a resource. For a TSP, cold weather critical component is limited to any transmission-voltage component within the fence surrounding a TSP's high-voltage switching station or substation.

  (2) Energy storage resource--An energy storage system registered with ERCOT for the purpose of providing energy or ancillary services to the ERCOT grid and associated facilities controlled by the generation entity that are behind the system's point of interconnection, necessary for the operation of the system, and not part of a manufacturing process that is separate from the generation of electricity.

  (3) Generation entity--An ERCOT-registered resource entity acting on behalf of an ERCOT-registered generation resource or energy storage resource.

  (4) Generation resource--A generator capable of providing energy or ancillary services to the ERCOT grid and that is registered with ERCOT as a generation resource, as well as associated facilities controlled by the generation entity that are behind the generator's point of interconnection, necessary for the operation of the generator, and not part of a manufacturing process that is separate from the generation of electricity.

  (5) Inspection--Activities that ERCOT engages in to determine whether a generation entity is in compliance with all or parts of subsection (c)(1) of this section or whether a TSP is in compliance with all or parts of subsection (f)(1) of this section. An inspection may include site visits; assessments of procedures; interviews; and review of information provided by a generation entity or TSP in response to a request by ERCOT, including review of evaluations conducted by the generation entity or TSP or its contractor.

  (6) Resource--A generation resource or energy storage resource.

  (7) Weather emergency--A situation resulting from weather conditions that produces significant risk for a TSP that firm load must be shed or a situation for which ERCOT provides advance notice to market participants involving weather-related risks to the ERCOT power region.

  (8) Weather emergency preparation measures--Measures that a generation entity or TSP takes to support the function of a facility during a weather emergency.

(c) Weather emergency preparedness reliability standards for a generation entity.

  (1) By December 1, 2021, a generation entity must complete the following winter weather emergency preparation measures for each resource under its control.

    (A) Use best efforts to implement weather emergency preparation measures intended to ensure the sustained operation of all cold weather critical components during winter weather conditions, including weatherization, onsite fuel security, staffing plans, operational readiness, and structural preparations; secure sufficient chemicals, auxiliary fuels, and other materials; and personnel required to operate the resource;

    (B) Install adequate wind breaks for resources susceptible to outages or derates caused by wind; enclose sensors for cold weather critical components; inspect thermal insulation for damage or degradation and repair damaged or degraded insulation; confirm the operability of instrument air moisture prevention systems; conduct maintenance of freeze protection components for all applicable equipment, including fuel delivery systems controlled by the generation entity, the failure of which could cause an outage or derate, and establish a schedule for testing of such freeze protection components on a monthly basis from November through March; and install monitoring systems for cold weather critical components, including circuitry providing freeze protection or preventing instrument air moisture;

    (C) Use best efforts to address cold weather critical component failures that occurred because of winter weather conditions in the period between November 30, 2020, and March 1, 2021;

    (D) Provide training on winter weather preparations and operations to relevant operational personnel; and

    (E) Determine minimum design temperature or minimum experienced operating temperature, and other operating limitations based on temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction.

  (2) By December 1, 2021, a generation entity must submit to the commission and ERCOT, on a form prescribed by ERCOT and developed in consultation with commission staff, a winter weather readiness report that:

    (A) Describes all activities engaged in by the generation entity to complete the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection, including any assertions of good cause for noncompliance submitted under paragraph (6) of this subsection; and

    (B) Includes a notarized attestation sworn to by the generation entity's highest-ranking representative, official, or officer with binding authority over the generation entity attesting to the completion of all activities described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, subject to any notice of or request for good cause exception submitted under paragraph (6) of this subsection, and to the accuracy and veracity of the information described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

  (3) No later than December 10, 2021, ERCOT must file with the commission comprehensive checklist forms based on the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection that include checking systems and subsystems containing cold weather critical components. ERCOT must use a generation entity's winter weather readiness report submitted under paragraph (2) of this subsection to adapt the checklist to the inspections of the generation entity's resources.

  (4) No later than December 10, 2021, ERCOT must file with the commission a compliance report that addresses whether each generation entity has submitted the winter weather readiness report required by paragraph (2) of this subsection for each resource under the generation entity's control and whether the generation entity submitted an assertion of good cause for noncompliance under paragraph (6) of this subsection.

  (5) A generation entity that timely submits to ERCOT the winter weather readiness report required by paragraph (2) of this subsection is exempt, for the 2021 calendar year, from the requirement in Section 3.21(3) of the ERCOT Protocols that requires a generation entity to submit the Declaration of Completion of Generation Resource Winter Weatherization Preparations no earlier than November 1 and no later than December 1 of each year.

  (6) Good cause exception. A generation entity may submit by December 1, 2021 a notice to the commission asserting good cause for noncompliance with specific requirements listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The notice must be submitted as part of the generation entity's winter readiness report under paragraph (2) of this subsection.

    (A) A generation entity's notice must include:

      (i) A succinct explanation and supporting documentation of the generation entity's inability to comply with a specific requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection;

      (ii) A succinct description and supporting documentation of the generation entity's efforts that have been made to comply with the paragraph (1) of this subsection;

      (iii) A plan, with supporting documentation, to comply with each specific requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection for which good cause is being asserted, unless good cause exists not to comply with the requirement on a permanent basis. A plan under this subparagraph must include a proposed compliance deadline for each requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection for which the good cause for noncompliance is being asserted and proposed filing deadlines for the generation entity to provide the commission with updates on its compliance status.

    (B) Commission staff will work with ERCOT to expeditiously review notices asserting good cause for noncompliance. Commission staff may notify a generation entity that it disagrees with the generation entity's assertion of good cause and will file the notification in the project in which the winter weather readiness reports are filed. In addition, ERCOT may evaluate the generation entity's assertion of good cause as part of an inspection of the generation entity's resources.

    (C) To preserve a good cause exception, a generation entity must submit to the commission a request for approval of a good cause exception within seven days of receipt of commission staff's notice of disagreement with the generation entity's assertion.

    (D) The commission may order a generation entity to submit a request for approval of good cause exception.

    (E) A request for approval of good cause exception must contain the following:

      (i) A detailed explanation and supporting documentation of the inability of the generation entity to comply with a specific requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection;

      (ii) A detailed description and supporting documentation of the efforts that have been made to comply with paragraph (1) of this subsection;

      (iii) A plan, with supporting documentation, to comply with each specific requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection for which the good cause exception is being requested, unless the generation entity is seeking a permanent exception to the requirement. A plan under this subparagraph must include a proposed compliance deadline for each requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection for which the good cause exception is being requested and proposed filing deadlines for the generation entity to provide the commission with updates on its compliance status.

      (iv) Proof that notice of the request has been provided to ERCOT; and

      (v) A notarized attestation sworn to by the generation entity's highest-ranking representative, official, or officer with binding authority over the generation entity attesting to the accuracy and veracity of the information in the request.

    (F) ERCOT is a required party in a proceeding initiated under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph. ERCOT must make a recommendation to the commission on the request by the deadline set forth by the presiding officer in the proceeding.

(d) ERCOT inspection of generation resources.

  (1) ERCOT-conducted inspections. ERCOT must conduct inspections of resources for the 2021-2022 winter weather season and must prioritize its inspection schedule based on risk level. ERCOT may prioritize inspections based on factors such as whether a generation resource is critical for electric grid reliability; has experienced a forced outage, forced derate, or failure to start related to weather emergency conditions; or has other vulnerabilities related to weather emergency conditions. ERCOT must determine, in consultation with commission staff, the number, extent, and content of inspections and may conduct inspections using both employees and contractors.

    (A) ERCOT must provide each generation entity at least 48 hours' notice of an inspection unless otherwise agreed by the generation entity and ERCOT. Upon provision of the required notice, a generation entity must grant access to its facility to ERCOT and commission personnel, including an employee of a contractor designated by ERCOT or the commission to conduct, oversee, or observe the inspection.

    (B) During the inspection, a generation entity must provide ERCOT and commission personnel access to any part of the facility upon request and must make the generation entity's staff available to answer questions. A generation entity may escort ERCOT and commission personnel at all times during an inspection. During the inspection, ERCOT or commission personnel may take photographs and video recordings of any part of the facility and may conduct interviews of facility personnel designated by the generation entity.

  (2) ERCOT inspection report.

    (A) ERCOT must provide a report on its inspection of a resource to the generation entity. The inspection report must address whether the generation entity has complied with the requirements in subsection (c)(1) of this section.

    (B) If the generation entity has not complied with a requirement in subsection (c)(1) of this section, ERCOT must provide the generation entity a reasonable period to cure the identified deficiencies.

      (i) The cure period determined by ERCOT must consider what weather emergency preparation measures the generation entity may be reasonably expected to have taken before ERCOT's inspection, the reliability risk of the resource's noncompliance, and the complexity of the measures needed to cure the deficiency.

      (ii) The generation entity may request ERCOT determine a different amount of time to remedy the deficiencies. The request must be accompanied by documentation that supports the request for a different amount of time.

Cont'd...

Next Page

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page