The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) recently adopted a rule related to critical natural gas facilities that supply fuel to electric generators.
This joint effort with the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) will increase the coordination between the electric and gas industries during energy emergencies.
Based on legislation from the Texas Legislature, the new PUC rule creates a new designation for critical natural gas facilities that supply the majority of natural gas in Texas.
The rule also requires a critical natural gas facility to provide information to the utility from which it receives electric delivery service.
The electric utility must use this information to prioritize natural gas in energy emergencies. The PUC rule and corresponding RRC rule will be in effect this winter.
The rule adoption complements work being done to map the supply chain between the natural gas and electric industries, the PUC said.
Natural gas facilities have already registered critical status with their electric delivery utility in much greater numbers than last winter, it noted. “Now electric utilities can plan and respond much more accurately to keep natural gas facilities energized during an emergency,” the PUC said.
In February 2021, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages in the state in the wake of an arctic blast.
Texas public power utilities took a number of actions to help protect customers financially in the wake of the arctic blast.
The American Public Power Association in November 2021 applauded the joint efforts of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and NERC’s Regional Entities to analyze the February 2021 cold weather event in Texas and the South-Central U.S.