On Monday, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could decide the future of the Texas Electricity Reliability Board. In question is whether the group that runs the Texas power grid is actually part of the state government.
The case is linked to two lawsuits against ERCOT. One, from San Antonio utility CPS Energy, disputes how high the agency kept electricity prices high during the 2021 blackout.
In both lawsuits, ERCOT argued that it could not be sued because it was a branch of government administered by the Texas Public Utilities Commission. The lower courts ruled differently in two cases, leading to appeals that took the matter to the Texas Supreme Court.
While ERCOT claims sovereign immunity, plaintiffs point out that it is also an independent non-profit organization, a fact that the network operator sometimes takes advantage of.
ERCOT “is ambiguous about its status,” CPS Energy claims in its report. address. “Claiming it wasn’t a public organization when the public requested reports to investigate ERCOT’s actions during the deadly storm, and now claiming it was when faced with the consequences of its multi-billion dollar mistake.”
If the court decides a lawsuit could be filed against ERCOT, lawyers representing the grid operator say it would undermine the group’s ability to manage the flow of electricity in the Texas power grid and control the state’s deregulated electricity market. Such a decision would also mean that countless other lawsuits related to the 2021 power outage, seeking billions of dollars in damages, could be considered.
Oral arguments in the case will be broadcast on the court’s YouTube channel here from 9:00.