The Texas Public Utility Commission, hoping to encourage the construction of generating capacity in the state, on Thursday tentatively approved two rules that would raise the $3,000/MWh cap on wholesale power prices to $4,500/MWh by August 1 and allow them to reach as high as $9,000 MWh by June 1, 2015.

The commission has been concerned about shrinking capacity reserve margins in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas since February 2011, when unusually cold weather led to rolling blackouts around the state. The PUC and the ERCOT earlier approved several rules to increase the compensation for certain types of power dispatched for reliability purposes to the systemwide offer cap of $3,000/MWh.

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