REGULATORY CHANGES DRIVING MASSIVE RENEWABLE AND TRANSMISSION BUILDS & INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Challenging times lie ahead, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is bursting with investment opportunities in generation, transmission, storage and energy efficiency markets! The EPA’s Clean Power Plan along with continued low gas prices are likely to drive the closure of many coal-fired generation units. How will the ERCOT market respond? A massive build-out of wind and solar may be the most direct outcome, but the ERCOT grid is plagued by congestion, and the deliverability of renewables in the queue hinge on large investments in transmission infrastructure.
Under the current market rules, economic signals and rewards do not create the impetus to invest in needed generation and transmission. ERCOT increased the market cap to $9000 MW/h in the summer of 2015, but this failed to generate a substantial market signal. What will ensure that new investment is made in the power plants needed to avoid rolling blackouts in the future? Where will the $8.9 billion in transmission improvement projects be built, and by whom? Will we see more investment in renewables and DR programs as a result of the CPP?
ERCOT Market Summit 2016 will examine the changing market rules and drivers, bringing policy-makers together with utility, IPP, DR and energy storage executives to explore potential opportunities and alternatives to meet Texas’ future power needs. They will examine not only the impacts of the EPA CPP on ERCOT, but also how the delivery of wind power from the Panhandle and new large solar build out plans are affecting the market. They will examine how the revamping of the ancillary services market could lead to opportunities for DR, energy storage and other potential game-changers in the ERCOT market. Finally, financiers will provide their perspectives on investing in and financing projects in the ERCOT market.
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