Electric utilities, transmission operators, and power generators in Texas must file Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) with regulators by April 15, 2022, including strategies for improved communications, robust supply chains, cold weather events, and cyberattacks. The state wants to avoid a repeat of widespread, deadly blackouts that occurred in February 2021 during winter storm Uri. Regulators will hold a workshop to assist utilities with the first EOP deadline. Going forward, the annual plans are expected to be due March 15.
Utilities will need to file redacted plans for public inspection, and make full plans available to PUCT staff upon request. Emergency Operations Plans must "address both common operational functions that are relevant across emergency types," as well as include "annexes" that lay out plans for specific types of emergencies including pandemics, cyberattacks, wildfires and hurricanes.
Utility plans must also describe the emergency procedures "for handling complaints and for communicating with the public," as well as the media, customers, regulators, local governments, the Office of Public Utility Counsel and other entities. The Order contains substantial details on what is required.
Commissioners noted that some utilities expressed concern with the "rapidly approaching" deadline and directed staff to hold an informal workshop to assist with interpreting the rule and filing requirements. The commission had wanted to have a firm fuel and backstop reliability service in place before next winter, but that may not come online until 2023 or 2024.
The staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas will hold an informal, technical workshop on Friday March 11, 2022, regarding implementation of 16 TAC 25.53, adopted by the commission at the February 25, 2022, open meeting. The workshop will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Central) in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room on the 7th floor of the William B. Travis Building, located at 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701.
The workshop will also be broadcast live on the "Admin Monitor" link below at https://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/puct/
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