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Texas governor vows to overhaul electric grid operator after storm failure

CommoditiesFeb 24, 2021 09:00PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Winter weather caused electricity blackouts in Houston 2/2

(Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday pledged to overhaul the state's electric grid operator after a massive blackout left residents without heat, power or water for days.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of power to about 90% of state residents, has faced sharp criticism over its failure to prepare for severe cold. Outages caused billions of dollars of damages to homes and businesses and left dozens dead.

State officials are working on proposals to add more power to the electric grid, Abbott said on the eve of hearings into what caused last week's outage. Power suppliers "of all sources were not prepared for this winter weather," he said.

"Many of you are angry. You have a right to be," Abbott said in a broadcast address. He pledged to unearth the causes of the failure while pinning most blame on ERCOT for failing to line up adequate power supplies. Power generators also needed to winterize their facilities.

Six ERCOT directors have resigned and a board nominee declined a seat in the wake of sharp criticism of the group's performance.

Texas governor vows to overhaul electric grid operator after storm failure
 

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