Southwest Austin | Dripping Springs - June 2022

Gov. Abbott calls special legislative committees regarding school safety


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas releases seasonal forecasts for the state’s power grid. Figures shown cover projections only and do not re‹ect actual seasonal use, which varies and has not exceeded projections in past summer.

Generation capacity forecast

Peak demand forecast

90,000 MW 80,000 MW 70,000 MW 60,000 MW // 50,000 MW 0 MW


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 1 called for a review of safety measures in Texas public schools in order to maximize the safety of students in the wake of the May 24 shooting in Uvalde, but the Texas State Teachers Associa- tion wants to see more action and legislation. “We don’t need more committees on school safety,” TSTA President Ovidia Molina said in a news release. Molina said that school safety was studied after shoot- ings in Santa Fe in 2018 and El Paso in 2019. But “schools obviously aren’t safe from mass shooters,” she said. The TSTA wants lawmakers to enact laws that “keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” the release said. Abbott sent a letter June 1 to Kathy Martinez-Prather, director of the Texas School Safety Center, asking that she ensure school districts meet over the summer to discuss safety measures and train sta. School districts are required by Texas law to create school safety and security committees, according to the letter. The letter states the committees are required to meet three times per year, typically with one meeting in the summer. Before the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, the governor’s oŽce requires that all public school districts meet and address safety needs; train sta and substitute teachers on safety procedures; schedule schoolwide safety drills; and assess all building access procedures, such as single access points and locked classroom doors. All districts are required to complete these safety tasks by Sept. 1 and report their ndings by Sept. 9. The organization will then provide the governor and the Texas Legislature with a statewide safety report by Oct. 1. Abbott said in the letter that he will work with the TxSSC, the Texas Education Agency and the Legislature to “hold accountable any districts that do not meet these requirements.” Austin and Travis County leaders have called on Abbott to convene a special legislative session on gun violence.

ERCOT’s previous all-time summer demand record was set in August 2019, when Texas needed 74,820 MW of power across the grid. That record was broken June 16 with a demand of 75,124 MW.



Regulators condent in power grid for summer


summer heat. The report states peak demand this summer could reach 77,317 megawatts—more than 3% above the previous record set in 2019. To meet that demand, the grid oper- ator said as much as 91,392 MW of resource capacity will be available across power sup- pliers, including natural gas, coal, solar, wind and nuclear facilities. According to ERCOT oŽcials, 1 MW of electricity can power 200 homes on a hot day. The Texas grid’s widespread, costly and deadly failure during Winter Storm Uri last year put the isolated system under intense scrutiny and spurred the passage of several pieces of state legislation aimed at over- hauling the network. That broad process is still underway and, so far, is proving to be successful, according to Lake.

Regulators said May 17 the Texas electric grid is reliable and ready to support the growing state through what could be one of its hottest summers on record. The update from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state grid manager, and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, its regulator, followed a statewide request to conserve power May 13 after several genera- tion facilities went o¡ine from ERCOT. PUC Chair Peter Lake said the warning represented ERCOT being “proactive,” rather than letting residents know too late that power issues could be at play. ERCOT’s seasonal summer projections for power demand and capacity throughout Texas forecast electricity usage and supply could both reach record heights in the



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