Correction: This version of the story was updated to reflect the correct date the bill was filed.
HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Texas electric suppliers ought to be able to tap in to power grids outside of ERCOT, a South Texas legislator suggests.
Texas state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who represents the Rio Grande Valley, filed a senate bill for Texas’ 88th Legislature that would make it possible for power companies to buy electricity at wholesale from out of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas power region.
Her proposal, Senate Bill 31, relates “to the interconnection of the ERCOT power grid to grids outside the ERCOT power region” and would allow transmission and distribution utilities, municipally-owned utilities, or electric cooperatives that buy power at wholesale within the ERCOT region to “construct, own, and operate facilties” to access and purchase power from outside ERCOT.
A companion to Senate Bill 31, filed Nov. 14, 2022, was filed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 29, 2022.
The bill does not appear to provide permissions to sell power outside of the ERCOT region.
Under the proposed bill, interconnections for buying power outside of ERCOT would be approved “unless provided otherwise by federal law” or “the commission or [an] independent organization determines that the interconnection poses a significant and imminent risk to public health and safety.”