By Kanishka Singh
() – Texas’ electricity grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) made a $ 16 billion-a-week price error with the winter storm that led to power outages across the state, said Potomac Economics, which monitors the state’s electricity market.
ERCOT kept market prices for electricity too high for more than a day after widespread outages ended late Feb. 17, Potomac Economics, the independent market surveillance agency for Texas Public Utility Commission overseeing ERCOT, said in a filing.
“In order to comply with the Commission’s order, the price intervention that raised prices to VOLL (value of lost cargo) should be completed immediately at that time (late February 17),” Potomac Economics said.
“However, ERCOT continued to keep prices on VOLL by pumping the Real-Time On-Line Reliability Deployment Price Adder for another 32 hours through the morning of February 19,” it said, adding the decision resulted in $ 16 billion in additional costs for ERCOTs markets.
The results of Potomac Economics were first reported Thursday by Bloomberg and the Texas Tribune.
Separately, the rating agency downgraded Moody’s Investors Service ERCOT by a notch from A1 to Aa3 and revised the network operator’s credit outlook to “negative” on Thursday.
On Wednesday, ERCOT’s board fired CEO Bill Magness as the fallout continued from a blackout that left residents without heat, electricity or water for several days.
The storm in mid-February temporarily hit up to half of the state’s production facilities, triggering disruptions that killed dozens and pushed electricity prices to 10 times the normal rate.
Many of ERCOT’s directors have resigned in the past week, and the head of the state’s Public Utility Commission, which oversees ERCOT, resigned on Monday.