FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
CONTACT: Cyrus Reed, Sierra Club, (512) 740-4086, firstname.lastname@example.org
Luminant Fined for Failure to Provide Power during Peak Demand in February 2011
AUSTIN, TX – Luminant Energy Company, LLC has agreed to pay $750,000 to the state of Texas as part of a settlement agreement with the Staff of the state Public Utility Commission. The settlement stems from the alleged failure of several Luminant power generating units during peak demand on February 2, 2011, when record low temperatures caused a spike in power demand.
In response, Sierra Club Conservation Director and ERCOT member Cyrus Reed issued the following statement:
“Hopefully, this rather modest fine will send a message to Luminant and other coal and gas generators that when they are paid money by ERCOT to be available in times of emergency — such as the freeze of February 2011 — they must be available. This means utility companies like Luminant must properly maintain their generating units so that breakdowns and emergencies don’t take place when people need electricity the most, such as times of extreme temperatures.
As ERCOT and the PUC consider further changes to ancillary services and potentially to the wholesale energy market, they must make sure that those paid for performance can realistically perform, or face stiff penalties. Texas doesn’t need new, expensive power plants to meet our needs and power our economy, but we do need responsible utilities following the letter of the law and taking responsibility for its assets.
What did perform well in both in February and August 2011 was demand response, a method of reducing electricity demand, by large and small industrial and commercial entities. As Texas consider changes to our market we should prioritize resources like demand response that we can depend on.”