Fifth ERCOT Board Member Resigns Ahead of First Meeting Since Winter Storm Disaster

ERCOT hearing at State Capitol to begin Thursday

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As officials of Texas' power grid defended how they managed last week's massive power outage, another ERCOT board member stepped down Wednesday.

ERCOT leadership held their first public meeting Wednesday to discuss the winter storms that brought prolonged subfreezing temperatures and snow to much of the state last week while also detailing the disastrous, cascading effects of losing generation during the storm.

For more than 70 hours last week, ERCOT said they were forced to shed load to preserve the power grid or face catastrophic consequences that could have left parts of the state without power for weeks, if not longer.

To shed load, ERCOT ordred electricity providers across the state to reduce their demand. Energy providers, such as Oncor, immediately instituting rotating power outages but as requests to shed more power were received, they weren't able to bring customers back online for several days.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said ERCOT's lack of preparedness and transparency was unacceptable and that he welcomed resignations from their leadership.

Four resignations were submitted on Tuesday, including chairwoman Sally Talberg, vice-chair Peter Cramton, Terry Bulger and Raymond Hepper, saying they wanted to avoid the controversy that they live outside of Texas. Craig S. Ivey, whose application was intended to fill a vacant position on the board, also withdrew from consideration on Tuesday after noting that he too lives out of state.

On Wednesday, at the start of the public meeting, it was announced that board member Randal Miller, the alternate for the Independent Retail Electric Provider Segment, had also resigned.

"The State of Texas will continue to investigate ERCOT and uncover the full picture of what went wrong, and we will ensure that the disastrous events of last week are never repeated," Abbott said in a statement.

At the beginning of the year, ERCOT's board had 15 directors, including four unaffiliated directors.

On Thursday, ERCOT officials will face questions from lawmakers at the State Capitol as they begin their investigation into the outages.

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