Texas
1:39 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Blackouts Pushed Electricity Prices to the Limit

It's been reported that last week's rolling blackouts that left parts of the state in the dark for 15 minutes or more--in some cases, a lot more)--made for sky-high wholesale electric prices.

The only thing that stopped them from rising higher was the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' (ERCOT) "system-wide offer cap," that is, the top rate a power generator can charge for electricity.  The cap on the day of the blackouts was $3,000.  It had been raised from $2,250 just the day before.  Two weeks earlier, it was only $180.

That's led some to question the timing and the extent of rolling outages last week.

The state's Public Utility Commission has ordered an investigation into the outages.