The interim CEO served previously as ERCOT’s vice president and chief operations officer.
The former head of the New York power grid will lead ERCOT on an interim basis, taking over an organization that remains under heavy criticism for its role in February’s statewide power outages.
Brad Jones, who worked previously at ERCOT, will replace outgoing CEO Bill Magness, who has been fired. The ERCOT board authorized Mr. Jones’ interim appointment during an April 27 emergency board meeting. He will take the reins May 4.
ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, oversees the state’s primary power grid. The quasi-governmental organization has come under heavy criticism from the state’s political leadership and others because it underestimated the amount of power needed for homes and businesses during Winter Storm Uri last February, and because it overestimated the amount of available power. More than 200 Texans — many of them without electricity — died during the freeze and resulting outages.
Outgoing director Magness was handed a 60-day termination notice in early March, and he is expected to leave his post on May 3. Jones will then take over, and will serve as interim president until ERCOT fills the position permanently.
Mr. Jones is a long-time veteran in the field. In addition to serving as the former president of the New York Independent System Operator, he served as ERCOT’s vice president and chief operations officer between 2013 and 2015. He has held executive positions at TXU Energy and Luminant, and has served as past chairman of the Edison Electric Institute’s Executive Advisory Committee and as a board member of the Gulf Coast Power Association.
The February outages and the resulting political fallout also prompted resignations by all three Texas Public Utility Commissioners. Gov. Greg Abbott so far has selected two of their replacements: former Texas Water Development Board chair Peter Lake, and former president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas Will McAdams.
In response to the outages, state lawmakers likewise are considering a number of PUC and ERCOT reform bills.