Legislature is about to change governance at the state’s main network operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Senate Bill 2 would require the five experts on the 16-person board of directors for the main Texas operator from both the Public Utility Commission that oversees ERCOT and a majority of the governor, lieutenant governor and House Speaker.
So far politicians have not been so directly involved in the election of the ERCOT board, whose members are currently selected in various ways. Some are selected by ERCOT’s own nomination committee, while others are appointed by companies and consumers participating in the electricity market, with members representing different electricity sources.
Under the House version of the bill, the governor would appoint the chairman of the ERCOT board, who must reside in Texas.
This is a departure from the upper chamber version, which would have given the governor sole authority to appoint the five experts on the ERCOT board – a change energy expert said it would do little to improve the electricity grid.
Legislators are also on the verge of increasing the number of seats on the Public Utilities Commission under Senate Act 2154. The two houses have to resolve their differences in a conference committee, but the latest legislation would increase the number of PUC board members from three to five. The governor would continue to appoint PUC board members, and they would need Senate approval.
All three board members of the PUC resigned after the storm.