Since the Grid Modernization Index has been released in 2013, Texas, together with California, has been ranked as the top state in terms of grid modernization. The index evaluates and ranks states based on state support, customer engagement and grid operations.
The electricity market was deregulated in Texas in 2002. Since then, the state is considered to be the country's most mature competitive energy market, encouraging electricity providers to offer flexible pricing systems and customer engagement programs. This, along with being a retail choice market, as well as the high smart meter penetration, contributes to Texas getting a high GMI score.
Texas has also been cited for continuing "to lead in the implementation of deregulated retail services and in effectively integrating large-scale wind generation including large-scale energy storage. ERCOT has an effort underway to “rethink” the entire existing set of ancillary services."
The ERCOT is also constantly looking for ways to improve the grid. "According to the 2013 Report on Existing and Potential Electric Constraints and Needs, transmission providers in the ERCOT region expect to complete more than $3.6 billion in projects between 2014 and 2018. These include additions or upgrades to more than 3,300 miles of transmission lines and other equipment improvements to increase capacity and support reliability. Improvements identified in the report focus on existing and potential constraints, where limited capacity of transmission infrastructure could create reliability concerns or increase power costs for consumers in the next five years."
Wind energy integration into the market is also being improved. "In addition to the major transmission grid upgrades, there have been a number of technology and policy improvements that have kept the grid reliable while adding more and more intermittent wind generation. Technology advancements such as better wind forecasting and deployment of a nodal market system have improved the grid efficiency of wind. Successful large scale wind integration into the electric grid, however, continues to pose challenges. The continuing rapid growth in wind energy calls for a number of technology additions that will be needed to reliably accommodate an expected 65% increase in future wind resources."