HOUSTON–Dec. 11, 2001–The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT) for the first time invoked its default qualified scheduling entity (QSE) process Nov. 30. ERCOT called upon its stand-by provider APX to perform scheduling for four electricity retailers and generators.
Within 24 hours, APX began providing interim scheduling and financial settlement with no interruption in service for the retailers and generators of the previous QSE. APX provided the default service for approximately 560 peak megawatts for 72 hours until the retailers and generators could retain a new permanent QSE.
“The default QSE process we established worked exactly as planned,” said Tom Noel, CEO of ERCOT. “As a result, there was no compromise of transmission grid reliability when the scheduling effort was transferred to APX.” APX, a provider of transaction processing services for the electric power industry, was selected as the default QSE July 31, when ERCOT opened its single control area. The default QSE provision assures interruption-free power scheduling when an assigned QSE ceases to perform. Scheduling helps to ensure precise balancing of the amount of power going into and being consumed from the transmission grid.
“ERCOT has designed a thorough process to respond to the need for emergency QSE services for its market participants,” said Rosalie Day, APX senior director, ERCOT and Southeast. “In serving as ERCOT’s scheduling provider of last resort, APX draws upon its expertise as the largest independent power scheduler in the U.S.,” Day noted.
When requested by ERCOT, APX performs interim default scheduling for competitive retailers, municipal and cooperative power companies, generators, and power marketers. ERCOT transfers the scheduling function to APX for a period of 72 hours, giving the participant time to sign up with a new permanent QSE. APX electronically submits to ERCOT the schedules that detail the amount of power the market participant will deliver to and/or use from the transmission grid.
In addition, APX is the assigned, permanent QSE for more than 10 ERCOT market participants.
ERCOT helps keep the lights on in Texas and is one of 10 regional reliability councils in North America. The organization currently oversees the operation of nearly 70,000 megawatts of generation and 37,000 miles of transmission lines in the State of Texas. The primary regulatory authority for ERCOT is the Public Utility Commission of Texas. ERCOT’s members include retail consumers, investor and municipally owned electric utilities, rural electric co-ops, river authorities, independent generators, power marketers, and retail electric providers. More information is available at www.ercot.com.
An independent transaction processing agent for wholesale electric power markets, APX processes more than 500 million megawatt hours per year for approximately 200 client companies in North America and Europe. Services include trading platforms and brokerages, scheduling, settlement, market infrastructure systems, and consulting. A privately held company, APX has its main office in Santa Clara, Calif., and regional offices in: Connecticut; Houston; London; Oslo, Norway; and Stavanger, Norway. More information is available at www.apx.com.