Texas power grid CEO fired after deadly February blackouts

WION Web Team
Texas, United States of America Published: Mar 04, 2021, 06.27 PM(IST)

Texas power grid Photograph:( Reuters )

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Brad Jones, former head of New York’s power grid, is the leading candidate to replace Magness as ERCOT’s CEO, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the board’s thinking.

Texas’ power grid chief executive officer Bill Magness has been fired, as the fallout continues from a deadly blackout last month that left residents without heat, power or water for days.

The mid-February winter storm caused widespread blackouts across Texas, a state unaccustomed to extreme cold, knocking out power to more than 4 million people at its peak. It temporarily knocked out up to half the state’s generating plants, triggering outages that killed dozens and pushed power prices to 10 times the normal rate.

Magness' departure followed fierce criticism by state lawmakers of the handling of the crisis by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Seven of ERCOT’s 15 directors have resigned in the last week and the head of the state’s Public Utility Commission, which supervised ERCOT, resigned on Monday.

ERCOT said in a statement cited by multiple media organisations that its board had directed that Magness be given a 60 days’ termination notice. The board would begin an immediate search for a new CEO.

Magness worked at ERCOT for more than a decade and became its CEO and president in 2016 after working as its general counsel, the Texas Tribune newspaper reported.

Brad Jones, former head of New York’s power grid, is the leading candidate to replace Magness as ERCOT’s CEO, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the board’s thinking.

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