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Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
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Post: #261
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-21-2021 08:12 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 07:56 PM)UofMstateU Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 07:47 PM)solohawks Wrote:  Whats the deal with the $5000 power bills I've been reading about?

yea, that doesnt make sense. I saw one was supposed to be $17K. Most homes have a 200 amp breaker box. If I were to pull max amperage 24hours per day for 30 days, my electric bill would only be about $3500. And it would be really hard to do that considering most homes in the south use heat pumps, and they would only be able to pull about a quarter of that if they ran all the time.

Now I could see that if these are ranchers and they are heating livestock, poultry, etc. (ie commercial)

My guess is these are people who used a provider called "Griddy". Griddy customers get extremely low rates because the service allows them to buy surplus power on the spot market, which 99% of the time is far cheaper than the contracted rates offered by most traditional electric providers. However, there is a catch with using this method to save money on your power bill---the customer using this service is taking on the full risk of elevated power pricing during periods of extreme use when the spot market goes crazy. During times of extreme energy use when the surplus electricity essentially doesnt exist, Griddy users are in the same position as any other electric provider desperately trying to buy whatever energy they can from any provider available. When that happens, spot market prices can skyrocket like they did just a few days ago. To help its customers navigate that risk, Griddy has an app that alerts users of the situation so they can immediate reduce power usage or even jump to another provider during periods of extremely high spot market prices. During this latest freeze crisis, Griddy even took the unprecedented step of literally advising its users to leave the service. My understanding was during the height the crisis a single killowatt hour was running $9---so Griddy bills were skyrocketing at a ridiculous pace during that time of high usage. The only thing that might have save some users was being caught in an extended rolling blackout. That said, you'd still have to use a crap load of energy to get to 17K in just 3 or 4 days of this kind of energy market. Two or 3K could happen pretty easily.

I wonder if it was just the power fluctuations messing with the meters and the equipment at the power companies. In our county a few years back we were having water bills in the tens of thousands of dollars due to flaws in the county's system.
02-22-2021 10:11 AM
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Post: #262
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 09:36 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 10:10 AM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 07:59 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  
(02-16-2021 03:47 PM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  
(02-16-2021 02:11 PM)UofMstateU Wrote:  Anf guess what happens when you drop that 22%, at a time when demand is the highest?

Sounds like they need to go 50% nuke and be done with the problems.

They are generating 4000 MW with wind right now, so obviously not all of it froze.

They lost 20,000+ MW of gas/coal/nuke output, which would make it hard to pin this on wind vs “TX power generation not built for once a decade low temp”.


Once in a decade? Try once in a century.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

1989, 2011, 2021

The temp was lower this time, but the outcome was the same. Massive loss of generation capacity to poor winterization.

The bold is the key phrase there smart one. Plus, I lived in Houston in 2011... 07-coffee3

I don't remember hearing of any major problems in 2011 either. And 1989 the biggest problem was bursting water pipes. I lived in Houston then. I don't remember any significant power problems. 1989 was colder in Houston than this time, but I don't remember how it was in the rest of the state.
02-22-2021 10:15 AM
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Post: #263
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 10:15 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 09:36 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 10:10 AM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 07:59 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  
(02-16-2021 03:47 PM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  They are generating 4000 MW with wind right now, so obviously not all of it froze.

They lost 20,000+ MW of gas/coal/nuke output, which would make it hard to pin this on wind vs “TX power generation not built for once a decade low temp”.


Once in a decade? Try once in a century.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

1989, 2011, 2021

The temp was lower this time, but the outcome was the same. Massive loss of generation capacity to poor winterization.

The bold is the key phrase there smart one. Plus, I lived in Houston in 2011... 07-coffee3

I don't remember hearing of any major problems in 2011 either. And 1989 the biggest problem was bursting water pipes. I lived in Houston then. I don't remember any significant power problems. 1989 was colder in Houston than this time, but I don't remember how it was in the rest of the state.

https://www.texastribune.org/2011/02/03/...blackouts/
02-22-2021 10:27 AM
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Post: #264
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
It seems like its a completely legitimate business model where people did not understand the risks they were taking.

Coog's explanation was great
Quote:Griddy customers get extremely low rates because the service allows them to buy surplus power on the spot market, which 99% of the time is far cheaper than the contracted rates offered by most traditional electric providers. However, there is a catch with using this method to save money on your power bill---the customer using this service is taking on the full risk of elevated power pricing during periods of extreme use when the spot market goes crazy. During times of extreme energy use when the surplus electricity essentially doesnt exist, Griddy users are in the same position as any other electric provider desperately trying to buy whatever energy they can from any provider available. When that happens, spot market prices can skyrocket like they did just a few days ago.

From what it sounds like, Griddy did everything humanly possible to help its customers avoid this, even telling them to cancel their service with them.

Griddy will likely be made the bad guy in this and have its model shut down because it has now proven to be too risky
02-22-2021 10:30 AM
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Post: #265
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
From my local news

Among them is Susan Hosford of Denison, Texas. On a typical February day, she pays Griddy less than $2.50 for power. But the one-day cost spiked to hundreds of dollars after the storm. In all, she was automatically charged $1,346.17 for the first two weeks of February, which was more than she had in her checking account, causing her bank to charge her overdraft fees and affect other bills.

“This whole thing has been a nightmare,” she said.

Here’s more on the soaring electricity bills:

Wholesale prices are typically as low as a couple of cents per kilowatt-hour but spiked to $9 per kilowatt-hour after the storm. Fixed rate customers pay a set amount that doesn’t rise as much. Typically, they pay around 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. But Rhodes said fixed rate customers could see their price rise by a few cents later this year as companies hit by the icy conditions look to recoup their costs — but their bills won’t be in the thousands.

People are able to pay wholesale prices in Texas because it’s one of the only states that lets people pick which company it buys power from, Rhodes said.

WHAT IS GRIDDY?

Griddy, which launched in 2017, charges $10 a month to give people a way to pay wholesale prices for electricity instead of a fixed rate. It warned customers of raising prices and urged them to switch providers. The company said wholesale prices returned to normal as of Feb. 20.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

Griddy said it has 29,000 members. It’s unclear how many other Texans also pay wholesale prices from other companies.

“We won’t get the full picture on the financial devastation for maybe 30 to 90 days,” said Ed Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston.

WILL THOSE WHO GOT LARGE BILLS GET FINANCIAL HELP?

That’s unclear. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Sunday that he is working with members of the legislature to address skyrocketing energy bills and “find ways that the state can help reduce this burden.” But he didn’t give specifics on what that may be. For the time being, the state has stopped companies from cutting off power for not paying.

Rhodes said bailing out customers may be a hard sell since they opted to pay wholesale prices and may have paid a much lower price than others for some time.
02-22-2021 10:45 AM
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Post: #266
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
Griddy sounds lilke a great deal, but it has to be managed by the consumer in order to not get smacked. And it sounds like Griddy did everything it could to prepare people to switch service prior to this happened.

It would be a shame if some people who failed to manage their service causes it to end for everyone using it. 2 cents per KWH is really cheap. This would be like a one year loss of savings, that wouldnt have had to have happened if they managed their service.
02-22-2021 10:53 AM
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Post: #267
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
The people who used Griddy probably clicked yes to a massive disclaimer about how high the variable rate could go. Seems like the Robinhood of the power world. It exposes the user to a sophisticated market with potentially high losses. Perfectly fine for the people that understand it, but I'm guessing many people just saw cheap power and clicked "I accept".
02-22-2021 11:14 AM
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Post: #268
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
Griddy would be wise to work individual settlement plans with those effected.

Similar to health industries, payment plans and prompt pay discounts could help if no federal/state aid is coming
02-22-2021 11:26 AM
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Post: #269
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 10:27 AM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 10:15 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 09:36 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 10:10 AM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 07:59 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  Once in a decade? Try once in a century.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

1989, 2011, 2021

The temp was lower this time, but the outcome was the same. Massive loss of generation capacity to poor winterization.

The bold is the key phrase there smart one. Plus, I lived in Houston in 2011... 07-coffee3

I don't remember hearing of any major problems in 2011 either. And 1989 the biggest problem was bursting water pipes. I lived in Houston then. I don't remember any significant power problems. 1989 was colder in Houston than this time, but I don't remember how it was in the rest of the state.

https://www.texastribune.org/2011/02/03/...blackouts/

Sounds pretty minor compared to last week. Basically a day of real problems. But it does sound like they didn't follow through very well.
02-22-2021 11:48 AM
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Post: #270
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 11:48 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 10:27 AM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 10:15 AM)bullet Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 09:36 AM)UTSAMarineVet09 Wrote:  
(02-21-2021 10:10 AM)U_of_Elvis Wrote:  1989, 2011, 2021
The temp was lower this time, but the outcome was the same. Massive loss of generation capacity to poor winterization.
The bold is the key phrase there smart one. Plus, I lived in Houston in 2011... 07-coffee3
I don't remember hearing of any major problems in 2011 either. And 1989 the biggest problem was bursting water pipes. I lived in Houston then. I don't remember any significant power problems. 1989 was colder in Houston than this time, but I don't remember how it was in the rest of the state.
https://www.texastribune.org/2011/02/03/...blackouts/
Sounds pretty minor compared to last week. Basically a day of real problems. But it does sound like they didn't follow through very well.

I think they didn't follow through because the problems really weren't that severe. I keep hearing about 2011, and I frankly don't even remember it. I do remember 1989, but we left water dripping and left the state and came back to no problems. I do remember going up to take I-20 east instead of the usual I-10, because the causeway over the Atchafalaya Basin was 20 miles covered in one inch ice.

The big problem is that reserve capacity has dropped from about 20% to 10%. When 20% of your regular capacity is renewables, that is not a viable situation. They need either a lot (and I mean a lot of lot) more wind and solar, plus a lot of batteries, or they need to reactivate some fossil fuel capacity to serve at least as reserve.
02-22-2021 12:05 PM
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Post: #271
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
Snow covering up solar panels has come up in this thread. I just saw this tweet of Tesla solar panels shedding snow. Apparently they shed water and ice decently well.

Thought it was pretty cool

https://twitter.com/AustinTeslaClub/stat...55553?s=19
02-22-2021 04:54 PM
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Post: #272
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
Quote:President Joe Biden refused to entirely fulfill the relief request that was issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in response to widespread energy failures that arose in the midst of a Texas “freeze” that has been attributed with the deaths of at least ten people.

“President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for 77 Texas counties, the White House said Saturday morning, two days after Gov. Greg Abbott had asked for a declaration that covered all 254 counties coping with the effects of a winter storm that knocked out power and heat across the state,” reported the Dallas Morning News.

Biden’s disaster declaration, issued last Friday, offers much less than what Texas officials had requested.

“The declaration covers much of the Texas population, including Dallas and neighboring counties, and the counties that include Houston, San Antonio and Austin, but falls far short of what Texas officials sought,” the Dallas Morning News continued.

“This partial approval is an important first step,” Abbott conceded on Saturday.

“I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” Abbott said earlier in a statement. “Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need. The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”

Earlier on Friday, senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz had requested that Biden urgently approve the request for aid “for all 254 Texas counties as a result of severe winter weather that began on February 11, 2021.”

“We urge you to grant this request to secure the health and safety of all Texans affected by this disaster,” the wrote.

As pointed out by the Dallas Morning News, there was a bi-partisan call to get relief for all of the counties.

There was an urgent request made by “18 of 23 Texas Republicans in the U.S. House plus Houston Rep. Al Green, who also signed the Democrats’ letter.”

“Our home state has been battered by unprecedented winter weather that has affected all 254 counties in Texas, overwhelmed the power grid, and crippled our roadways,” they wrote. “The historic impacts of winter precipitation and arctic temperatures have left millions of Texans without power, potable water, and have strained the supply chain for food and other necessities.”

The Biden administration did not entirely fulfill that request. The aftermath of the Texas freeze has nonetheless been brutally harsh on state residents.

“Freezing temperatures sent energy demand soaring in Texas to levels that eclipsed even the hottest summer days,” reported Politico. “Grid operators there and across the Midwest implemented rolling blackouts to prevent further damage to the grid, but in Texas alone 4 million customers have been without power since Monday.”

Thus, the Biden administration may be blamed at a later date for leaving two-thirds of the state’s counties without an encompassing disaster declaration and attached aid.

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02-22-2021 05:02 PM
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Post: #273
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 04:54 PM)NCeagle Wrote:  Snow covering up solar panels has come up in this thread. I just saw this tweet of Tesla solar panels shedding snow. Apparently they shed water and ice decently well.

Thought it was pretty cool

https://twitter.com/AustinTeslaClub/stat...55553?s=19

I'm a fan of the tesla roof (in concept anyway), but thats not really a great example. That is a really steep roof. Also, the snow storm of last week produced "dry" snow because it was so cold. But in the south, we usually get wet snow, and even that highly pitched roof wont prevent it from sticking. Wet snow down here will stick and fill in a chain link fence. Now, could tesla have coated these things to prevent sticking? That would be interesting, especially if it could repel wet snow and freezing rain.


The issue with solar panels on the roof is getting them cleared. If they are ground level, a broom with a really long handle and muscle can get it done quickly, so not too bad for a homeowner. For a solar farm, you'd need a crew or an ingenious way of doing it, and that ingenious way is probably too expensive for areas that dont get enough snow to make it worthwhile.
02-22-2021 05:28 PM
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RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 05:28 PM)UofMstateU Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 04:54 PM)NCeagle Wrote:  Snow covering up solar panels has come up in this thread. I just saw this tweet of Tesla solar panels shedding snow. Apparently they shed water and ice decently well.

Thought it was pretty cool

https://twitter.com/AustinTeslaClub/stat...55553?s=19

I'm a fan of the tesla roof (in concept anyway), but thats not really a great example. That is a really steep roof. Also, the snow storm of last week produced "dry" snow because it was so cold. But in the south, we usually get wet snow, and even that highly pitched roof wont prevent it from sticking. Wet snow down here will stick and fill in a chain link fence. Now, could tesla have coated these things to prevent sticking? That would be interesting, especially if it could repel wet snow and freezing rain.


The issue with solar panels on the roof is getting them cleared. If they are ground level, a broom with a really long handle and muscle can get it done quickly, so not too bad for a homeowner. For a solar farm, you'd need a crew or an ingenious way of doing it, and that ingenious way is probably too expensive for areas that dont get enough snow to make it worthwhile.

I live in Augusta, GA, so I don't ever experience snow of any kind. lol

Elon did reply to that tweet to say that their panels do somewhat repel some water. After relooking at the video, you are right though, that is a very steep roof, especially compared to mine.

I'd love to see some data and research on this. I'd have to think that if having panels that are somewhat hydrophobic, that this is a technology that would be looked into even more???

And again, this is politics aside and more just being a technology nerd. haha
02-22-2021 09:56 PM
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Post: #275
RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
(02-22-2021 09:56 PM)NCeagle Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 05:28 PM)UofMstateU Wrote:  
(02-22-2021 04:54 PM)NCeagle Wrote:  Snow covering up solar panels has come up in this thread. I just saw this tweet of Tesla solar panels shedding snow. Apparently they shed water and ice decently well.

Thought it was pretty cool

https://twitter.com/AustinTeslaClub/stat...55553?s=19

I'm a fan of the tesla roof (in concept anyway), but thats not really a great example. That is a really steep roof. Also, the snow storm of last week produced "dry" snow because it was so cold. But in the south, we usually get wet snow, and even that highly pitched roof wont prevent it from sticking. Wet snow down here will stick and fill in a chain link fence. Now, could tesla have coated these things to prevent sticking? That would be interesting, especially if it could repel wet snow and freezing rain.


The issue with solar panels on the roof is getting them cleared. If they are ground level, a broom with a really long handle and muscle can get it done quickly, so not too bad for a homeowner. For a solar farm, you'd need a crew or an ingenious way of doing it, and that ingenious way is probably too expensive for areas that dont get enough snow to make it worthwhile.

I live in Augusta, GA, so I don't ever experience snow of any kind. lol

Elon did reply to that tweet to say that their panels do somewhat repel some water. After relooking at the video, you are right though, that is a very steep roof, especially compared to mine.

I'd love to see some data and research on this. I'd have to think that if having panels that are somewhat hydrophobic, that this is a technology that would be looked into even more???

And again, this is politics aside and more just being a technology nerd. haha

If his shingle panels can do a good job of repelling snow buildup, then thats a big deal. There's a lot of places you dont want to have to go in a snow storm, but your roof ranks way up at the top of the list.

They do have a cool asthetic design. They look like solid shingles (or slate) from the ground level angle, but they are clear at the angle of the sun.
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RE: Widespread Power Outages in Texas as Renewable Energy FAILS
Quote:Five board members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas — the entity that manages and operates the electricity grid that covers much of Texas — will resign on Wednesday, according to a notice to the Public Utility Commission. A sixth has withdrawn his application to the board.

All six live outside of Texas.

Sally Talberg, board chair; Peter Cramton, vice chair; Terry Bulger, finance and audit chair; and Raymond Hepper, human resources and governance committee chair, occupy the "unaffiliated" director positions on the board, which mean they must remain independent of any business ERCOT oversees. Their resignations will be effective at the end of the board's Wednesday meeting.

In addition, Vanessa Anesetti-Parra, the market segment director for the independent retail electric provider market segment, will also resign her position as a board member. Craig Ivey, who was slated to fill a vacant unaffiliated director position, withdrew his application.

ERCOT board members had come under fire last week when it was reported that some did not reside in the state. ERCOT officials, during a press conference last week, said it had temporarily removed personal information about the directors from its website because they were experiencing harassment.

The board has been criticized for last week's mass power outage during a winter storm that has claimed the lives of dozens of Texans. More than 4.5 million customers were without power at one point last week.

Gov. Greg Abbott had called on ERCOT board members to resign in the aftermath of the crisis and said in a statement Tuesday that he welcomes their resignations, promising to investigate the grid operator.

Keep tabs on Texas politics and policy with our morning newsletter

“I welcome the resignations,” Abbott said. “The lack of preparedness and transparency at ERCOT is unacceptable. We will ensure that the disastrous events of last week are never repeated.”

ERCOT, a nonprofit, is governed by a board of directors, but overseen by the Public Utility Commission. Fifteen members serve on the ERCOT board, including the five unaffiliated director positions. The vacancies will not immediately be filled.

In order for ERCOT to maintain its certification as an independent organization, the board, which should consist of 16 members, must include five directors who are completely unaffiliated with “any market segment.” Ivey would have been the fifth unaffiliated member.

“The board chairman, board vice chairman and both committee chairman leadership roles will be vacant,” according to the notice submitted by attorneys representing ERCOT.

Lawsuits have already been filed against ERCOT in response to last week's crisis. It's unclear whether ERCOT, which falls under the PUC's jurisdiction, can be held liable by such suits: The Texas Supreme Court is expected to decide this year whether ERCOT is entitled to sovereign immunity, a legal principle that protects government agencies from lawsuits, after hearing another case that raised the question last year.

The board members were not all immediately available for comment or referred reporters to their resignation letters. In a joint letter to the rest of the board, the four unaffiliated directors cited the public concern that board members did not live in the state as the reason for their resignation. Ivey also cited not wanting to become a “distraction” from the more important response to the crisis in his letter.

“To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board,” Talberg, Cramton, Bulger and Hepper wrote in the resignation letter.

The board directors wrote that before they resign, they will launch the review of the power crisis.

“Our hearts go out to all Texans who have had to go without electricity, heat, and water during the frigid temperatures and continue to face the tragic consequences of this emergency,” they wrote. “We want what is best for ERCOT and for Texas."

Talberg, a former state utility regulator who served on the Michigan Public Utility Commission from 2013 to 2020, lives in Michigan. Talberg has sat on various state, regional and national boards and committees involving electricity, natural gas, oil, infrastructure and telecommunications issues. Cramton, a professor of economics at the University of Cologne and the University of Maryland, lives in Germany. Cramton has focused his research on electricity and financial markets. He has advised numerous governments and has been on the ERCOT board since 2015.

Bulger worked in the banking sector for 35 years, including various positions with ABN AMRO Bank in Canada, Europe and the U.S., and lives in Wheaton, Illinois. Hepper, a former litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice, retired in 2018 from working for the grid operator that manages the six-state New England electric system and wholesale markets.

Ivey, whose appointment was approved by ERCOT's members but was pending final approval from the PUC, is retired from more than three decades of experience in the utilities industry. He resides in Florida, according to an ERCOT announcement about his candidacy to the board. Most recently, he was the president of Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc.

Anesetti-Parra oversees Just Energy’s North American residential and commercial regulatory affairs and compliance division and has two decades of experience in the retail energy sector.

ERCOT representatives did not return calls seeking comment, but in a statement it said: "We look forward to working with the Texas Legislature, and we thank the outgoing Board Members for their service."

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