SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed two bills into law today related to the historical winter storm in February that left millions of Texans without power.
“A top priority that we had this legislative session was to fix the power grid to prevent any power grid failure in the future,” Abbott said Tuesday. “The legislature passed comprehensive reforms to fix all of the flaws that led to the power failure.”
Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 3 aim to enact reforms on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and electricity providers that operate on ERCOT grids.
Senate Bill 2 will cut the current ERCOT board from 15 members to 11 and will require board members be a resident of the state of Texas. Board members will now be appointed at the discretion of both the Texas Senate and Governor as opposed to just the Governor.
Senate Bill 3 will enact the creation of a public alert system related to power grid inadequacies and will require the weatherization of power generation facilities, natural gas facilities, and transmission facilities across the state to withstand extreme weather conditions. ERCOT and the Texas Railroad Commission will inspect these facilities and impose fines up to $1 million for those who do not pass.
“During the winter storm, too many Texans were left without heat or power for days on end, and I immediately made reforming ERCOT and weatherizing the power system emergency items,” said Governor Abbott. “We promised not to leave session until we fixed these problems, and I am proud to say that we kept that promise. These laws will improve the reliability of the electric grid and help ensure these problems never happen again. Thank you to Senators Kelly Hancock and Charles Schwertner and Representative Chris Paddie for your leadership on these important issues.”