ERCOT is seeking lower-cost, effective alternatives to an agreement it recently entered to keep a power generating unit in the Houston area operating to help maintain reliability of the electric grid.
In June, ERCOT entered into a reliability must-run (RMR) agreement with NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) subsidiary NRG Texas Power to keep the Greens Bayou Unit 5 available to support transmission system reliability in the Houston area, specifically on one high-voltage circuit (Singleton to Zenith), which could be subject to overloads during period of high electric demands in the area.
ERCOT expects completion of the Houston Import Project by summer 2018 will help solve these transmission concerns.
Under the current RMR agreement, the 371-MW generation unit must be available during summer months, beginning in July 2016 and continuing through June 2018. In turn, ERCOT must pay $3,185 per hour year-round to reserve this capacity.
Qualified scheduling entities representing providers of electric generation and demand response resources have until Aug. 24, to respond to a request for proposals. ERCOT will consider individual and aggregated options that can provide grid reliability benefits that are comparable to the RMR unit while providing cost savings.