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10/25/2013

PUC mandates minimum electricity reserve margin

The Public Utility Commission of Texas today voted 2-1 to mandate an minimum reserve margin for the state's largest power grid, a move critics say is counter to the state's deregulated electricity market. Currently the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas makes forecasts of the reserve of electrical generating capacity compared to anticipated peak demand. Continued low wholesale power prices in the state's deregulated areas have discouraged generators from adding new capacity, and proponents of the mandated reserve say it's needed to avoid rotating blackouts. The PUC did not set the reserve. It will take up that task next year after a consultant's report. The Austin American Statesman has a full report here. Reuters has a report here.

-- Jim Fuquay

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