News Release

October 06, 2006

ERCOT at a Glance: News Update - Oct. 6, 2006


New CSC, Planning Reports Available on Web

Two new sections have been added to to assist market participants in resource planning.

Under grid information, a new section called commercially significant constraint (CSC) flows and limits includes historical data on flows, limits, megavolt ampere reactives and megavolt amperes by CSC in 15-minute average intervals. Data is provided for a complete year; the current year's report is updated monthly.

The planning and market reports section includes aggregated data and some new reports as required by the Public Utility Commission's resource adequacy rules, PUC docket #31972.

Documents in the planning and market reports section are organized by:

  • Short-Term projected assessment of system adequacy (PASA) â€" seven-day forecasts
  • Medium-Term PASA â€" three-year forecasts
    • Includes new monthly projections of transmission constraints
    • Includes new three-year projected system load peaks by weather and CSC zone
  • Statement of Opportunities â€" five- and 10-year forecasts
  • Resource and Load Data.

Some of the documents linked in the planning and market reports are in the controlled access area of the public Web site and require a log-in.

Fifth Individual Sentenced in 2004 Fraud Against ERCOT

Former data warehouse manager Chris Douglas was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years community supervision on Oct. 2 for his role in the 2003-2004 criminal conspiracy to defraud ERCOT through a web of shell companies paid for services not rendered. Douglas will also be required to complete 500 hours of community service and pay more than $506,000 in restitution. Douglas' jail term will be served in the Williamson County jail.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a total of 23 felony indictments on Jan. 28, 2005 against six individuals, including five former ERCOT employees and one former contractor, alleging organized crime and criminal conspiracy to defraud ERCOT. The Attorney General's announcement followed an eight-month investigation, which ERCOT supported and cooperated with in full.

Four of the other individuals have received their sentences:

  • Kenneth Shoquist:
    Former chief information officer; sentenced to 8 years in prison; paid $120,000 in restitution to ERCOT
  • Carlos Luquis:
    Former physical security manager; sentenced by jury to 12 years in prison; $10,000 fine; ordered to pay $205,000 in restitution to ERCOT
  • Chris Uranga:
    Former director of IT operations and corporate security; sentenced to 7 years in prison; ordered to pay $505,000 in restitution to ERCOT
  • John Cavazos:
    Former contractor; sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication probation; paid $8,700 in restitution to ERCOT

A pre-trial hearing for Steve Wallace, former program development director, is scheduled for Oct. 30 in Travis County and Nov. 1 in Williamson County.

Audit Update Presented in Quarterly Report

Under ERCOT's internal control management program, the organization has addressed 96 percent of the pre-2006 audit points and 98 percent have been verified, CFO Steve Byone reported in ERCOT's quarterly report (Project 30456) to the Public Utility Commission, Sept. 21. Deloitte and Touche is doing an independent review of ERCOT's internal controls; the review is on schedule for completion in November.

Thirty-seven audits have been completed since January 2005, 13 external and 24 internal. Eleven additional audits are planned for the remainder of 2006, six eternal and five internal, totaling 48 audits for 2005-06.

First-half testing for the 2006 SAS 70 audit has been completed, and second-half testing is underway. In addition, an employee compensation and job slotting review by Mercer Human Resource Consulting is on schedule for completion by the end of the year.

Byone also reported on employee counts: 560 employees and 195 contractors (126 are associated with the nodal market implementation) at the end of August. The number of contractors is expected to increase in support of nodal.

Board of Directors to Meet Oct. 17

The ERCOT Board of Directors are scheduled to meet Tuesday, Oct. 17. The agenda will be posted in the calendar section of the Web site by the previous Wednesday.

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.