ERCOT votes on South Texas Electric Cooperative pricing appeal Monday

Dec. 9, 2011 at 6:09 a.m.

Energy costs could change after a decision by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

ERCOT on Monday votes on a South Texas Electric Cooperative appeal asking ERCOT to maintain current prices on a transmission overload issue until transmission construction relieves the constraint.

Potential for transmission overloads exists into the Texas Valley region, a STEC news release said, and ERCOT's Nodal system design cannot always resolve such issues.

"The result will be higher prices for all consumers in the South Load Zone, not just those consumers in the Valley," the news release said.

ERCOT's proposed price change could substantially impact electricity prices in the South Load Zone, which includes cities such as Corpus Christi, Victoria, El Campo, Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo. STEC's wholesale marketing department estimates the change could cost South Load Zone consumers tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

STEC feels the proposed methodology unfairly penalizes consumers without adequate transmission infrastructure, according to the release.

During Monday's meeting, ERCOT's board determines how high prices can rise in areas without a competitive solutions for the transmission issue. Proposed changes would set floors that start as high as $5 per kilowatt hour, according to the release, but may also go down to 50 cents per kilowatt hour during times where no competitive solution is available.

"STEC feels that the current pricing methodology adequately protects the consumer and should not be changed," the release said.



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