News Release

March 01, 2006


Former NERC President Michehl Gent Approved for New Independent Member Position

AUSTIN, March 1, 2006 â€" Michehl Gent, former president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), was approved today as a new independent board member for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  Subject to approval by the Public Utility Commission, Gent will begin on the board this month. 

“Michehl Gent will be a tremendous addition to the ERCOT board,â€? said Mark Armentrout, chairman of the ERCOT Board of Directors.  “Michehl has more than 40 years of experience in electric reliability, primarily with reliability councils.  His expertise in building organizations, developing operating rules and procedures, and fostering communication between partner organizations will be also be an invaluable asset for the ERCOT electric grid, the market and, ultimately, for Texas electricity consumers.â€?  

Gent is one of two independent board members â€" unaffiliated with ERCOT market participants â€" to be added to the ERCOT Board of Directors in compliance with Senate Bill 408 approved by the 79th Texas Legislature.  Interviews are in process for the second independent board member.  The two new members will bring the number of independent board members to five and total board membership to 16.  Others on the board include three consumer representatives, one representative from each of ERCOT’s six electric market segments, the ERCOT CEO, and the chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (non-voting, ex-officio). 

The board’s nominating committee unanimously approved Gent, and he was subsequently approved by an email ballot vote sent to ERCOT’s 122 corporate members. 

Gent retired in 2005 as president and CEO of NERC.  He joined NERC in 1980 as executive vice president and was elected president in 1982.  NERC is the nonprofit corporation representing the eight regional reliability councils in North America that sets standards for the reliable operation and planning of the bulk electric system, and monitors, assesses and enforces compliance with reliability standards. 

Under Gent’s leadership, NERC grew from an organization of five people to more than 50 employees.  He was at the forefront of the industry’s efforts to improve the protection of critical and cyber assets, both before and after September 11, 2001.  He also led the technical investigations into the August 14, 2003, blackout and implementation of recommendations resulting from the investigation. 

Prior to joining NERC, Gent was general manager of the Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, a voluntary power pool for Florida's electric utilities.  He also held several positions in both operations and planning at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.   

Gent has taught in the graduate schools of the University of Southern California and Loyola University and is a registered Professional Engineer. He currently serves on several policy committees and boards including the United States Energy Association and the IEEE-USA Energy Policy Committee.  

A native of New York, Gent is a veteran of the U.S. Army and holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a master of science degree from USC.  He and his wife, Sandra, live in San Diego. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 650+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas.

ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.