Texas’s grid operator needs to come up with $1.3 billion to pay power plants for the energy they supplied during last week’s historic blackouts, raising the prospect it may require a state bailout.

If Ercot can’t come up with the rest, the debt could end being shared by everyone in the market — even consumers. That may prompt lawmakers to step in and make up the difference, said Evan Caron, chief strategy officer of energy technology firm ClearTrace and a former Ercot trader.

“Someone is going to need to pay,” Caron said in an interview. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Ercot did not immediately respond to an inquiry whether it plans to ask for a state bailout.