Mar 6 • 1HR 0M

ERCOT Explained: A Comprehensive Discussion on Texas' Power Grid

My Climate Journey podcast with Eric Goff and Jaden Crawford

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MCJ Collective
A growing body of knowledge about climate change and potential solutions. This series traverses disciplines, industries, and opinions with hundreds of deep-dive conversations with science, technology, and climate leaders.
Episode details

Today's topic is ERCOT (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas), and we have two guests. 

Eric Goff is President at Goff Policy, an infrastructure consulting firm focusing on ERCOT market energy transition issues. Eric serves as the sole representative for residential consumers in the ERCOT stakeholder process.

 Jaden Crawford is director of policy at David Energy, a modern energy retailer that operates in multiple markets, including Texas. David Energy is also an MCJ Collective portfolio company. 

From an electrons perspective, the Texas energy grid is unique because it's relatively isolated from the rest of North America. It's also a deregulated market, which means that energy retail or selling power to end consumers is separate from energy generation or the act of creating power. Therefore, there's a robust B2B market between retailers and generators in addition to a direct-to-consumer retailer market. All of this has created a vibrant entrepreneurial energy ecosystem in Texas.

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Companies in Texas are relatively free to experiment with new models and technologies, and the open market rules the day. But when Texas suffered wide-scale energy outages after Winter Storm Uri in 2021, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, declared that ERCOT reform would be an emergency priority for the state legislature. In late January of this year, news about some of the ERCOT reform proposals brought Eric and Jaden to our attention, and we’re so grateful for their time in shedding light on this topic. Enjoy! 

In this episode, we cover: 

  • Eric's background in ERCOT 

  • Jaden's experience and transition to focusing on energy 

  • An overview of ERCOT and its members  

  • How it fits into the broader energy and electricity picture in the U.S. 

  • How Texas deregulated its energy market 

  • Deregulation's influence on driving the adoption of renewables, entrepreneurialism, and innovation 

  • Energy failures during Winter Storm Uri and changes that are being made

  • Pricing caps and market dynamics 

  • An overview of the Performance Credit Mechanism (PCM) and ancillary services 

  • The role of gentailers

  • Does Texas need more energy generation? 

  • How people living in Texas can get involved

Get connected: 
Cody Simms Twitter / LinkedIn
Eric Goff
Jaden Crawford
MCJ Podcast / Collective

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Episode recorded on February  17, 2023.