Original photo of Decker Gas Plant by Al Braden - zombified by Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter
By Matt Johnson
Great news! On Friday, November 17, ERCOT announced it was cancelling plans to bring back shuttered and decommissioned coal and gas plants. Zombie power plants will not rise from their graves and pollute Texas communities this winter!
In its official news release, ERCOT noted that it received only one bid to bring back 11.1 Megawatts (MW) of power, a far cry from the 3,000 MW of polluting power it was aiming to bring back.
We want to thank the many folks out there who have been following our updates on this situation and who took action to raise awareness of this terrible idea.
We were heartened to see that in its announcement on Friday, ERCOT specifically mentioned demand response as a priority going forward. "Demand response" refers to energy-saving programs that reduce pressure on the grid during times of high energy demand -- a green solution that the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter has been steadfastly advocating for. According to Friday's release: "ERCOT firmly believes that there remains tremendous potential in expanding demand response capabilities throughout the industrial, commercial, and residential customer classes."
Does this mean our work is done?
The Public Utility Commission of Texas still needs to implement solutions that do three things:
- Strengthen the grid.
- Lower energy burden on Texas families.
- Not pollute our air and water.
Energy efficiency programs help thousands and thousands of Texans weatherize their homes so they don’t waste energy. Demand response programs pay customers for reducing energy consumption. Both solutions should be prioritized ahead of more fossil fuel power plants.
Stay tuned for more updates on our campaign to advance sustainable, affordable, people-first solutions in Texas.