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Public Utility Commission meets the same week ERCOT struggles to keep up with demand

July 14, 2022

CBS Austin
Original Article

(CBS Austin)

There was no conservation alert Thursday, as the ERCOT website showed plenty of electric supply to meet the demand. This morning the Public Utility Commission met here in Austin, during a hot week when the electric demand threatened to surpass the supply on two days, triggering conservation alerts. The Public Utility Commission heard comments from around the state, expressing concerns about the cost of electricity after the price cap was hit for four hours — and concerns about losing electricity again.

“From Susan Pardoe of Dallas, 75252. I have severe sleep apnea. sleeping without my c pap could result in death. during the winter outages I had to have family fight to help me stay awake,” read Robin Schneider, executive director of Texas Campaign for the Environment. “The high prices are depleting my social security please help us survive,” she read, before submitting 60 similar comments to the commission. She was just one of several who signed up for public comment.

The supply is one of several issues in front of the commission. The biggest — the record demand.”2022 is on track to be the hottest record in Texas history so I read it is the third hottest summer in us history,”

But Austin-based energy consultant Doug Lewin says there is a lot the commission did not talk about. “I was pretty frustrated by the lack of explanation of what’s going on with the state’s thermal fleet, thermal meaning coal, and gas,” he said. Lewin says coal and gas generated less energy than expected during peak demand Wednesday.

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