While summertime evokes visions of barbeques, sunscreen and vacations, it is also a time when generation entities and transmission service providers face extreme hot weather conditions. During these periods of excessive heat, it is critical these sources ensure reliable operation. For this reason, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) adopted PUCT Rule 25.55 in October of 2021.
Generation entities in ERCOT regions have a month, between May 1 and June 1, to submit their plans for thwarting the summer conditions. The best formula includes collaboration between O&M providers, owners, asset managers, compliance teams and staff. And communication is key.
The intension is to reduce the potential of rolling blackouts and the affects they have on public safety.
Preparations must be complete for the for the upcoming summer season by June 1st. This includes:
- Cooling measures
- Water storage and supply
- Heat and moisture reducing equipment
- Auxiliary fuel storage
- Maintenance of hot weather critical components
Another focus of the rule is the identification and maintenance of critical components. For solar projects, critical components can be thought of as any equipment that, if taken out of service, would have the ability to significantly derate the resource’s output. This includes:
- GSU transformers
- Protection relays
- Substation HVAC units.
Keep in mind that ERCOT has stressed the importance of three key areas:
To meet inspection requirements a good weatherization program should be communicated to all relevant personnel, trainings held, maintenance activities completed on time, and evidence of all those activities must be kept on record.
While the summer may heat up, keep a cool head by having a plan in place.
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