The Texas freezing storm left seven vacancies in the executive board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT); as the operator received heavy criticisms for their handling of the situation; and because some of the directors didn’t live on the state.
Nevertheless, ERCOT’s officials have defended their role in the energy crisis; they argue they prevented a catastrophe; that Texas assets were not prepared for subzero temperatures. According to Reuters, officials held a meeting this Wednesday for the first time since the storm hit the state.
As for now, six directors have resigned and one board nominee declined a seat on it. Sally Tanberg, former chairman of the board, and one of whom submitted a resignation, said ERCOT “worked tirelessly to keep the grid from collapse”, according to Reuters.
During the storm, she gave ERCOT’s CEO, Bill Magness, a sometimes hour-by-hour report of the situation; the review of the loss of power and the one still remaining on the grid; she also held communications with officials and consumers.
Moreover, Magness underlined that Texas has no mandatory weatherization standards for the power plants; he said this is one heavy factor for the disaster that Texas went through. He remarked that nearly 48% of the power generation went offline; the cold weather provoked mechanical failures, lack of fuel and other issues.
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ERCOT facing heavy criticism
In addition, he underlined that ERCOT had sufficient reserves available through Sunday, when many generators drop off amid the cold wave. In this regard, the power outages were a prevention measure to avoid serious damage to generators and transmission lines.
On the other hand, Randal Miller, who represented independent retail power providers, submitted his resignation this Tuesday, leaving ERCOT with seven confirmed vacancies. As we said above, Tanberg and three other directors lived outside of Texas and they have been widely criticized for that.
Texas governor, Greg Abbott said he would initiate an investigation to “uncover the full picture of what went wrong”.
Finally, as we reported previously, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has also started to investigate if companies committed any frauds, or boosted prices artificially.