Eric Gay / AP
Austin, Texas — Texas power grid manager said Wednesday as millions of people lost electricity and heat in sub-zero temperatures for days after a catastrophic power outage in February, calling for expulsion. Was fired.
Bill Magnes, CEO of the Texas Electrical Reliability Council, became the second senior official in the wake of one of the worst blackouts in US history. The state’s top utility regulator resigned on Monday.
Magnes received a two-month end notice from the ERCOT board of directors at a meeting on Wednesday night.
“During this transition, Bill will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer, working with state leaders and regulators to work on potential reforms in ERCOT,” the organization said in a statement. ..
With salaries of over $ 876,000 and other compensation in 2019, Magnes is angry at the power outage that began on February 15, when winter storms plunged temperatures across Texas to single digits and electricity demand surged. Was the target of. House. The grid operator unplugged more than 4 million customers when the system buckled. This is necessary to avoid even more catastrophic power outages that can last for months, Magnes said.
But for millions of people, electricity wasn’t restored for days, and long-term power outages quickly turned into a tragic crisis as carbon monoxide poisoning and other people who tried to warm up were frozen to death. Developed. The storm and the resulting power outages have been blamed on more than 40 deaths in Texas, but the complete casualties may have been unknown for months.
A lawmaker investigating a shutdown caused by Magnes to deal with a storm at the Texas Capitol last week.
In hours of testimony, Magnes defended his actions to keep the grid intact, serving most of Texas’ 30 million inhabitants.
“It worked to prevent us from falling into the power outages that continue today, and that’s why we did it,” Magnes said last Thursday. “Now it didn’t help people’s lives, but it helped maintain the integrity of the system.”
Republican Governor Greg Abbott has accused ERCOT of misleading the state about grid preparation and blaming grid operators for power outages almost independently. His anger did not reach the state utility commission, which oversees ERCOT and is headed by Abbott’s appointed man.
However, the committee is also being increasingly criticized. Chairman DeAnn Walker resigned after suffering two long appearances in front of lawmakers after the outage, but said others should accept responsibility for the outage.
At least six ERCOT board members have resigned in the aftermath of the power outage. Many of them lived outside the state. As the crisis progressed, anger at ERCOT only increased.
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