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Regulatory Updates

Electric Reliability Council of Texas Releases 60-Point Plan for Change

Steve Persutti | Jim Whitaker, PE | August 23, 2021

ERCOT’s recently released “Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability” presents a plan for change in Texas that includes increasing electric power generation and purchasing significantly more power reserves. The 60-Point Plan comes in response to Governor Abbot’s July 6 directive that the Public Utilities Commission take immediate action to improve electric reliability.

The following changes will undoubtedly require greater levels of planning and engineering expertise for utilities in the region.  Among the most impactful actions ERCOT’s plan puts into motion include:

  • Assess the potential costs and benefits of increased transmission both internal and external to ERCOT and increase coordination with other power regions.
  • Conduct regular review of cyber security plans and defenses to ensure continued electric reliability.
  • Adopt a more aggressive and conservative approach to operating the grid. This step will impact outage approval, commitment of resources, conservation alerts and the communication of system risks.
  • Require CEO certifications. After a market rule change, all ERCOT market participants that own or operate generation resources and/or transmission/distribution power lines will be required to submit a letter, signed by their CEO, twice each year certifying their companies have completed their weatherization preparations for both the  summer and winter seasons.
  • Assess on-site fuel supplies. ERCOT is considering the need for assessing on-site fuel supplies for some generators.
  • Perform unannounced testing of generation resources. This unannounced testing for over 30 power plants will help verify that generators have provided accurate information about their power production capability and availability.
  • Address transmission constraints in the Rio Grande Valley. ERCOT and the PUC are initiating a process to address long standing Rio Grande Valley transmission limitations.
  • Provide flexibility to allow additional resources to participate in the ERCOT market to eliminate barriers to distributed generation, energy storage, and demand response technologies.
  • Conduct a study to gauge the impact of varying levels of wind and solar penetration on reliability. This study will examine the impact of energy storage and dispatchable energy on system reliability.

How to Prepare for the ERCOT 60-Point Plan

The ERCOT plan is just one example of high impact changes coming to the electric industry.  The acceleration of infrastructure development is a likely a key component of the future. Your company may be already considering making new infrastructure investments and applying more conservative assumptions when planning and operating its  portion of power system.

TRC closely follows these regulatory pronouncements and understands the challenges utilities face in planning and operating their systems both safely and reliably. An independent, technically well-informed review effort that considers the ever-evolving regulatory framework would be beneficial to your company in this time of change. TRC’s planning and asset management experts can provide an independent review of your company’s planning, asset management and operations  processes, the related internal controls, and can suggest thoughtful corrective measures for dealing with system stresses and extreme weather that will become the basis for utility operations in the future.


Your Trusted Regulatory Advisor

TRC closely follows the national and state regulatory trends in all regions of North America. Our approach to power system planning, design and operations balances solutions that incorporate appropriate industry trends, mandatory standard requirements, regulatory guidance, compliance obligations, best practices, operational goals and budgets. With expertise in both power system planning and operations, we support public utilities and private energy providers to stay ahead of the curve on regulatory trends and the technical aspects of their operations, including related state and federal compliance obligations.

This regulatory update is a service to TRC’s utility clients, helping keep you informed of issues that impact your company’s electric system reliability risks along with related topics regarding regulatory developments to help you achieve your company’s business goals.

Steve Persutti

Steve Persutti is TRC’s Senior Vice President of Business Development. He has 25 years of comprehensive management experience within the energy industry and a consistent and successful record in strategic business planning, productivity and efficiency improvements, systems design and implementation, and employee collaboration. His areas of expertise include engineering management, project management, EPC project management, construction management, financial analysis and customer service. Steve has an M.B.A in Finance from the University of Hartford and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut. Contact Steve at

Jim Whitaker, PE

Jim Whitaker, PE is Supervisor of Power Systems Studies at TRC. He has over 30 years of experience in Transmission and Distribution Planning, and Substation, Transmission and Distribution Engineering. His Transmission Planning projects include coordinating joint/regional 10-year transmission plans, generator interconnections, regional system assessments, as well as NERC compliance studies. His projects have included studies for both Utilities and Project Developers across the United States in the Eastern and Western Interconnection transmission systems as well as ERCOT. Prior to joining TRC, Jim worked for Xcel Energy, Peak Power Engineering, Tucson Electric Power and Virginia Power. Contact Jim at

Bill Hawk

Bill Hawk is TRC’s Director of Private Networks Engineering. He is a Professional Engineer with over 35 years of experience in the planning, design and implementation of all aspects of utility networks and communications systems, security systems and Smart Grid/Distribution Automation systems. His areas of expertise include technology, project planning, requirements definition, project team management and project coordination. Bill has successfully completed numerous large telecommunications and security projects with local, municipal and state utilities, governments, school districts, commercial and industrial businesses, universities and university systems. Contact Bill at

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