Staffing Shortages May Affect ERCOT’s Ability to Meet Grid Reliability Deadlines
ERCOT shared some not-so-good news with the state recently.
Due to staffing shortages, the grid operator says they may not be able to meet the deadlines in place to complete the projects created to ensure the grid is more reliable.
In this day and age, I immediately suspected the shortages were due to staff being out sick with COVID. However, that’s not the case.
According to KVUE, the company had a total of 65 job openings as of January 13. Combine that with the fact that there are sure to be employees out sick with the coronavirus and the company will most likely struggle to keep up with the workload.
The plan to make the grid was put into place by the Public Utility Commission (PUC), who instructed ERCOT to work with a third party to ensure the deadlines were met.
Peter Lake, PUC Chairman, said something needs to be done to ensure the plan is executed:
Hope is not a strategy. Hoping it’s in place by next winter is not the path we’re going to go down. We’re going to make sure we’ve got something in place as intended by the legislation, the governor and this commission.
Even though staffing shortages threaten to delay ERCOT’s progress on the mandated projects, Lake assured Texans back in early December that the Texas power grid is more reliable than ever and that the “lights will stay on” this winter.
Late last month, Governor Greg Abbott said Texas power plants were “good to go” in a tweet.
While it’s been a pretty mild winter so far, it stands to reason that the grid will be put to the test at some point over the next couple of months.