AUSTIN, Texas — A sweeping bill to overhaul the state's power grid won approval from the Texas House and Senate Sunday, sending the measure to Gov. Greg Abbott, who's expected to sign it into law. The legislation was in response to the February winter storm that left millions without power for days and caused more than 150 deaths. 

Senate Bill 3 would require infrastructure upgrades to prepare for extreme weather. It also aims to improve the state's electricity supply chain and creates a statewide emergency alert system. 

"This bill offers significant reforms that will strengthen communication, coordination, oversight and reliability and resiliency of the ERCOT grid," said Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, who authored the bill. "These reforms are necessary to ensure the problems during the Valentine's Day winter storm never occur again."​

The requirement for power generators and transmission lines to "weatherize" gained broad support in both chambers. But weatherization of natural gas fuel facilities would only be required if the Texas Railroad Commission deems them critical infrastructure necessary to maintain electricity service.

SB3 would also mandate key gas facilities be registered as critical so their power isn’t unintentionally shut off during shortages. Hundreds of gas facilities reportedly lost power during February's storm.

Lawmakers also approved legislation to overhaul the ERCOT board, expand the Public Utility Commission to five members, from three, and ban Griddy-type retail plans that left some Texans with bills as high as $5,000. 

While the measures had bipartisan support, energy experts have warned the legislation doesn't go far enough to prevent a future power crisis. 

“This bill really doesn't do anything except apply a few obvious Band-Aids to the situation," Ed Hirs, energy fellow at the University of Houston, told Capital Tonight recently. "It's all a way that the legislators can kind of say, 'yeah, we addressed it. We papered it.'”