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Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislative laws to prevent state power grid failure

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) -Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 into law. The bills aim to make changes to ensure that millions of Texans will not go without power given any extreme weather conditions, like what happened in February.

“A top priority that we had this legislative session was to fix the power grid to prevent any other power grid failure in the future,” said Abbott.

Reforms were made to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) like limiting the board from 16 to 11. The governor says eight members will not be fully independent board members and all board members must be residents of Texas.

“Bottom line is that everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas,” said Abbott.

Senate Bill 3 will require all electricity providers to winterize facilities not just for extreme winter weather but for the hot summer season as well. Abbott says Texas Railroad Commission and ERCOT will be required to inspect the facilities, and failures to comply can result in a penalty up to $1 million.

“We want to make sure that the solutions that have been provided address both the summer weather and the winter weather and we feel all of us, as well as leaders of the Public Utilities Commission and ERCOT, believe that we have achieved success with regards to weatherizing both summer and winter,” said Abbott.

However, officials haven’t stated when these penalties will go into effect or if the state will provide any funding for the upgrades.

In addition to these changes, a “Power Outage Alert” will be created where Texans will receive emergency alerts.

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