City coalitions say that changing the “ancillary services” market should be part of discussions for “reliability first” power market reforms.

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A number of important energy market adjustments — including technical changes relating to “ancillary services” and demand response programs for residential consumers — should be part of a “reliability first” approach to managing the state power grid, according to a recent regulatory filing by the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.

In an eight-page document, TCAP and an allied coalition — the Steering Committee of Cities Served by Oncor — also signaled that regulators should keep free market principles in mind as they move forward with reforms. The coalitions issued their recommendations August 16 in response to a request for comments from the Texas Public Utility Commission, which is considering modifying the ERCOT market in the wake of February’s outages.  “The fundamental objective of the ERCOT market is to reliably deliver power at the lowest possible cost — competitive market solutions should be implemented where possible,” attorneys Thomas Brocato and Taylor Denison wrote on behalf of the coalitions.

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The coalitions also recommended discussions of new ancillary services for dual-fuel supply for electric generators or for on-site fuel storage. The coalitions said the PUC should work with the Railroad Commission of Texas to ensure the state has an adequate supply of natural gas at reasonable prices.

You can read the coalitions’ comments, here. You can find further explanatory material about “ancillary services” and other ERCOT terms here.