The PUC has adopted rules for winter weather preparation rules and set quick deadlines for implementation.


Texas regulators this week adopted weather preparation rules and standards for electric generators and transmission and distribution utilities, and set quick deadlines for implementation.

The new rules and standards were included in a 100-page plus document prepared by staff at the Public Utility Commission, under Docket No. 51840 on the agency’s website. The PUC adopted the rules and standards by a 4-0 vote on Oct. 21.

That vote, however, represented only a first step in a two-phase weatherization effort now underway at the agency.   During the second phase, the agency will develop performance standards based on a weather study that remains under development by ERCOT in consultation with the State Climatologist (information about ERCOT’s weather study can be found in PUC Project No. 52691).

The basic elements of the 51840 weatherization rules and standards adopted on Oct. 21 are as follows:

  • Generation Resources must implement winter weather readiness recommendations included in a 2012 document, the Report on Extreme Weather Preparedness Best Practices by Quanta Technology. (That report can be found here.)
  • Transmission Service Providers must implement key recommendations contained in a 2011 document, the  Report on Outages and Curtailments during the Southwest Cold Weather Event on February 1-5, 2011, jointly prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. You can see that report here.
  • Generation Resources and Transmission Service Providers must fix any known, acute issues that arose from winter weather conditions during the 2020-2021 winter weather season.
  • ERCOT must develop a program to conduct on-site readiness inspections of Generation Resources and Transmission Service Provider facilities.
  • Entities that have experienced repeated or major weather-related forced service interruptions must hire an outside professional engineer to assess its weather emergency preparation measures.

The new standards and rules also include very tight compliance deadlines, including a December 1 deadline for generation units to implement weather emergency preparation measures; to install various weatherization devices; to conduct weather preparation training; and to submit to ERCOT and the PUC a winter weather report that includes a notarized attestation by each entity’s highest-ranking officer with binding authority. 

ERCOT also has committed to completing hundreds of on-site inspections by the end of the year.  

To read the full rules and regulators included in Docket No. 51840, go to this link at the PUC website.

— R.A. Dyer