2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Winter weather caused power outages in Houston 2/2
(Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott pledged on Wednesday to overhaul the state’s power grid operator after a massive blackout left residents without heat, power or water for days. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages power flow to about 90% of the state’s residents, has faced heavy criticism for its inability to prepare for severe cold. The outages caused billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses and left dozens of deaths. State officials are working on proposals to add more power to the power grid, Abbott said on the eve of hearings on what caused last week’s blackout. Energy providers “from all sources were unprepared for this winter weather,” he said. “Many of you are angry. You have a right to be,” Abbott said in a broadcast speech. He vowed to unearth the causes of the failure and put most of the blame on ERCOT for failing to align the proper power supplies. Power generators also needed to winterize their facilities. Six ERCOT directors have resigned and one board candidate declined a position following strong criticism of the group’s performance.