All four out-of-state board members of the Texas power grid operator submitted their resignations after millions of people lost power during last week’s major snowstorm.
Sally Talberg, board chairwoman; Peter Cramton, vice chairman; Terry Bulger, finance and audit chairman; and Raymond Hepper, human resources and governance committee chairman, will resign at the end of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas board meeting on Wednesday, according to a notice from the Public Utility Commission of Texas posted on Tuesday.
“We have noted recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership at ERCOT. To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board effective after our urgent board teleconference meeting adjourn,” the four said in their resignation letter to ERCOT board members, which was also posted by the commission.
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The outgoing board members noted that they will continue to review the state’s power grid failure prior to their Wednesday departure in an effort to ensure that the state is better prepared in the future.
“Before we step aside, we are beginning the process of reviewing this extreme cold weather event and resulting power crisis,” they added. “With the right follow through, Texas can lead the nation in investing in infrastructure and emergency preparedness to withstand the effects of severe weather events — whether in the form of flooding, drought, extreme temperatures, or hurricanes. We want what is best for ERCOT and Texas.”
Craig Ivey, president of Consolidated Edison Company of New York, withdrew his application from the pool of candidates to fill the vacancy on the board, which is made up of 16 people, five of whom must be “unaffiliated with any market segment and selected by the other members of the governing body.”
“ln order to avoid becoming a distraction, l’m requesting that ERCOT withdraw my petition for approval to serve as an Unaffiliated Director,” Ivey said in his letter to Shelly Botkin, commissioner of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. “The response to recent events will require the full attention of leaders in the state and at ERCOT.“
The resignations will leave every unaffiliated director position vacant, and no candidates immediately available have been vetted.
Thousands were left without power or running water for days during the height of the storm and shortly thereafter. Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation into ERCOT’s failure during the storm with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability Corporation.
“Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions,” he said after demanding that the Texas Legislature take up the issue.