Following Deadly Texas Blackouts, ERCOT Terminates Its CEO

Following the deadly blackouts that left millions of people without electricity and heat for days in subfreezing conditions, the Texas power grid president and CEO has been terminated.

On Wednesday, The board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, responsible for 90% of the state’s power, sent Bill Magness a two-month notice of termination.

During one of the worst blackouts in US history, the state’s top utility regulator resigned on Monday.

In a statement, the organization said, “During this transition period, Bill will continue to serve as President and CEO and work with state leaders and regulators on potential reforms to ERCOT.”

Magness was slammed during the blackouts that started Feb. 15 when a winter storm plunged temperatures into the single digits, creating skyrocketing demand for electricity to heat homes. Magness made over $876,000 in salary and other benefits in 2019.

As the system buckled, grid operators disconnected more than 4 million customers, which Magness claims was important to avoid a more devastating outage that might have lasted months.

During the storm, the power grid was “four minutes 37 seconds away from total collapse,” suggesting the Lone Star State may have been without power for weeks.

In his opening remarks at a recent board meeting, Magness said, “This was a devastating event.” He said,  “Power is essential to civilization.”

KHOU reported that during the storm, 356 generators were knocked inactive, nearly doubling what Texas witnessed during its last big winter storm in 2011.

 

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