ERCOT Resignations By: Noah Rubel
Many people may not know this, but Texas stands out when it comes to energy, in both good ways and bad.
This is because there are three electrical power grids or electrical systems in the United States: one Western, one Eastern and one in Texas. Where Texas lacks the support of a major power grid like the rest of the continental U.S., Texas also does not have to worry about other state emergencies or pay federal taxes since the other two grids are overseen by the government. Texas’s power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or “ERCOT” for short, has run into some problems in the recent past.
Since the ice caps traveled through the lone star state, ERCOT was dealt a horrible hand to say the least, leaving 26 million Texans without power. In an article written by Fox News some ERCOT officials gave a metaphor explaining the power outage of Texas and how it was handled: "ERCOT was flying a 747. It had not one, but two, engines to experience catastrophic failure, then flew the damaged plane for 103 hours before safely landing in the Hudson."
“Safely” may be a biased assumption for the moment since many Texans are still dealing with the repercussions of the power outages caused by the winter vortex. That means there has to be someone to blame, and most people are looking at ERCOT. Because of this catastrophe, many board members have resigned from ERCOT.
There are 16 resignations in total. Chairwoman Sally Talberg and Vice-Chairmen Peter Cramton, Terry Bulger and Raymond Hepper wrote that their "hearts go out to all Texans" who had to go without electricity, heat, water and "face the tragic consequences of this emergency… 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 adjourns on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.”
With lawsuits already filed against ERCOT, it comes as no surprise that some board members were ready to step down. Other members are declaring that work has to be done to the power grid and Texas “should be a leader in disaster relief.” Hopefully in the future Texas and ERCOT will be able to handle a situation like the one that occurred more effectively.