News Release

July 17, 2006

ERCOT at a Glance: News Update - July 17, 2006


New Record in Peak Demand Expected Today

As a strong upper-level ridge continues to dominate the North Central Texas weather, ERCOT System Operations is preparing for a record-breaking peak demand in the ERCOT Region this week.

ERCOT’s current load forecast is predicting that peak electricity demand for the ERCOT Region today will exceed 63,500 megawatts (MW), significantly higher than the existing record of 60,274 MW, which occurred Aug. 23, 2005.

Generators’ resource plans are currently indicating availability of over 67,000 MW of generating resources for today’s peak between 4 and 6 p.m.  Emergency conditions are not anticipated at this time, but system operators are closely monitoring the situation.

ERCOT Board of Directors Meeting Tuesday

The ERCOT Board of Directors’ monthly meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday at ERCOT Austin, 7620 Metro Center Drive.  Agenda items posted for possible votes include Texas Regional Entity update, AEPTCC/MEC Western Region Project, Protocol Revision Request 666, and Nodal Protocol Revision Requests.  The agenda and meeting materials are posted on the ERCOT Web site.

Senate Testimony on Resource Adequacy Posted on Web

Interim CEO Sam Jones testified Thursday before the Senate Natural Resources Committee at a field hearing in Dallas.  The committee is examining the potential impact on air quality of the proposed new generating plants – particularly coal-fired – in the ERCOT region. Jones and Public Utility Commissioner Barry Smitherman testified together on the subject of electric reliability and resource adequacy.  Jones’s testimony is available on the ERCOT Web site.  Commissioner Smitherman’s testimony is available on the PUC site.

General Counsel Selected

James Thorne joined the ERCOT staff as vice president and general counsel in June.  The ERCOT board is scheduled to ratify his appointment Tuesday. 

Thorne has more than 25 years of experience in the practice of utility and energy regulatory law.  During his legal career, Thorne has worked on a range of organizational, regulatory and legislative issues – at the state and federal level – in the natural gas and electric industries. He has extensive experience in the deregulation of natural gas and electricity.

Most recently, he was vice president and general counsel of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc.  Previously, he was a partner in two Washington, D.C., law firms after serving as deputy general counsel for Tenneco Gas in Houston and in Washington, D.C.

Thorne has an undergraduate degree in government from Texas Tech University and a law degree from the University of Houston. He also did postgraduate work in law at Georgetown University. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the District of Columbia Bar. In addition, he is a member of the American Bar Association, the Energy Bar Association and the Corporate Counsel Association.

ERCOT Meeting Calendar

July 2006 Calendar

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.