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CPS Energy CEO Says Texas Is "OK" For Energy Ahead Of Another Hot Summer

Nathan Cone
Texas Public Radio

Leaders in the field of electric reliability are talking about peak seasons ahead of summer since demand is always a hot topic around this time of year.

But as Texas increases generation of power with wind and solar resources, CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby thinks electric reliability is sufficient ahead of what could be a brutally hot summer.

He wants to focus on how to make it stay that way for the long run, though.

"The reliability issue appears to have been pushed further out," he said Tuesday at a forum hosted by the Texas Tribune at St. Mary's University. "Recent studies have suggested that the convergence of supply and demand is not as acute as we thought for now. So I think for now, to answer your question, I think we're generally OK. The question becomes further down the road, what do we do to mitigate acute issues down the road?"

Beneby joined Electric Reliability Council of Texas CEO Trip Doggett on the stage to talk about electricity and conservation. Doggett said the issue comes around every year, mostly during the winter and summer months.

But as much as the state has done, Doggett said Mother Nature can surprise us still and there's never a promise of complete reliability.

"But we're certainly going to do our best to minimize our potential for that," Doggett said.

Even though the message might be the same year after year, he said people can play an important part in resource adequacy and helping manage the load by making smart choices.

Not everyone has to take part in demand response programs, either said Doggett.

"We don't have to have everyone participating in these programs. I think if there are folks that have a need to keep the thermostat cool across peak, I think if you do this in an aggregated manner, there are others like myself that may not be at home across peak and it's great to have a remote control feature," Doggett said. "And those that don't see a benefit or have a concern with that can opt out of that program."

Doggett said he can't make promises, but that leaders are working hard to prevent outages and hope that various measures keep Texas lights and air conditioning on this summer.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.