Dallas Morning News
by James Osborne, Published June 17, 2015 6:00 PM
The Texas Public Utility Commission is investigating a spike in electricity prices last month to see whether bad data from the transmission line company Oncor played a role.
According to a report earlier this month by a group of power companies and regulators, on May 18 wholesale power prices rose unexpectedly when data provided by Oncor showed a transmission line in West Texas was nearing capacity. Only the company had failed to update their data to show a recent upgrade to the line. Over six hours, the error resulted in $4.8 million in additional electricity costs in West Texas, the group estimated.
The report was written by the Congestion Management Working Group, organized by the state’s grid operators, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Now the PUC is looking into taking action against Oncor, said spokesman Terry Hadley. One possibility would be to order a refund to power retailers that paid the inflated prices
“I couldn’t rule it out, but its a pretty high bar based on the protocols,” Hadley said.
Oncor did not respond to a request for comment but told the news site EnergyWire it was, “gathering all pertinent information to better assess the situation.”