LUBBOCK, Texas — With the first round of the big switch from Lubbock Power and Light to ERCOT just two days away, LP&L said it has now cleared the last hurdle to make the move to migrate 100 percent of its customers to ERCOT by 2023.

Lubbock City Council and the Electric Utility Board held a special meeting Thursday afternoon and approved an agreement for early termination of LP&L’s 25-year power contract with Southwestern Public Service that tied Lubbock to the Southwest Power Pool.

“A lot of work has been done since 2015 to get to this point,” LP&L Executive Director David McCalla said.

The decision now allows LP&L to move the remaining 30 percent of its customers to the ERCOT power grid in what’s expected to be May 2023. The first round of that move is happening this weekend with 70 percent of the company’s customers being switched to ERCOT.

LP&L and Mayor Dan Pope called Thursday’s decision a “milestone” and a big step to bring retail electric competition back to the Hub City — and choices back to its customers.

The contract began in 2019 and was set to end in 2044, costing LP&L more than $17 million every year. To buy out, LP&L will have to pay Southwestern Public Service a lump sum of $77.5 million in May 2023 after the final switch. It’s something LP&L says will actually save a lot of money for the company and for its customers.

Until then, the two companies will remain in partnership, and now, the next step is to get approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas for the second phase to connect the remaining 30 percent of LP&L customers to ERCOT by its goal of 2023.