Boston, March 21, 2023 – On March 17, 2023, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, ruled in favor of London Economics International client, Vistra (Luminant), in case No. 03-21-00098-CV. The court found that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT”) had exceeded its authority by setting energy prices during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. The court reversed the PUCT Orders which led to the price intervention and remanded the case for further proceedings.
LEI helped inform Vistra’s legal case by conducting a simulation analysis of hourly real time energy prices in ERCOT during the storm. LEI’s simulation showed that – except for the intervention of the PUCT, which set electricity prices at $9,000/MWh during much of the week – real-time prices would have averaged $2,404/MWh during those hours.
LEI’s simulation was based on data available from the ERCOT system operator; and on ERCOT’s rules, also known as the Protocols, which govern the way in which the ERCOT energy market is operated. Based on these, LEI recalculated real-time prices assuming no PUCT intervention. To verify the accuracy of the simulation, LEI conducted a back cast of real-time prices during a period in which ERCOT had not forced prices to $9,000/MWh.