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1508Texas power grid

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  • James Ferrill
    Apr 7, 2002
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      Hey gang,

      I've been getting a lot of questions about how interconnected the Texas power grid really is. A number of people I have talked to have been under the impression that the Texas power grid is completely interconnected to the rest of the country. This has led to some interesting discussions regarding selling of power to California, among other things. Plus, a lot has changed in the past 3 years since we talked to the Reliant representatives at a HREG meeting. So I send an email to the PUC and got a very informative reply back. Here is their reply:

      Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2002 08:35:47 -0600
      From: "Collier, Carrie" <carrie.collier@...>
      Subject: RE: Texas Power Grid
      To: nospam@...
      Cc: "Saldana, Richard" <richard.saldana@...>
      X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

      Dear Mr. Ferrill:

      Texas is the only state that has a self-contained electric grid--the
      Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Portions of the state are not
      within ERCOT and are part of electric grids that cross state borders.

      ERCOT boundaries can be found here: <http://www.nerc.com/regional/> or
      here: http://www.puc.state.tx.us/electric/RCBmap.cfm

      ERCOT accounts for about 85% of the consumption in the state. Since ERCOT
      is essentially a closed system, just about all of the energy consumed in
      ERCOT is generated in Texas (except for a very small percentage that might
      result from net imports over the DC Ties to Oklahoma). In total, 180 MW of
      electricity generated in ERCOT leaves the system and 30 MW comes into ERCOT
      from outside the system. This equals a net export of 150 MW for the ERCOT
      region out of a total capacity of about 62,000 MW generated in ERCOT.

      The nonERCOT areas in Texas are interconnected electrically with other
      states so it is not possible to say which electrons came from which state.
      Customers in Beaumont, for example, get their electricity from Entergy Gulf
      States which has generating plants in both Texas and Louisiana. Energy
      flows from all EGS plants into the EGS grid which serves all EGS customers
      in both states. Generation facilities in El Paso, for example, could sell
      electricity to California because those areas are interconnected. However,
      generators located within ERCOT cannot--it is physically impossible.

      The PUC is your source for help and information about electric and
      telecommunications services in Texas. If you have any questions or
      concerns, please call the PUC toll-free at 1-888-782-8477.

      Carrie Collier
      Legislative Analyst, Communications
      Public Utility Commission of Texas

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