Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

October 19, 2009

ERCOT Initiating Search for New Independent Board Member

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, will begin a search for a new independent board member to replace Mark Armentrout who announced today he will not seek election to a third term. 

Armentrout, whose term ends in November, was elected to the board in June 2003 when ERCOT first added independent board members – those unaffiliated with ERCOT market participants – and re-elected for a second term in 2006.  He was the first independent board member to be elected as board chair, serving from 2005 to 2008.   

“Mark has been an important contributor to the work of the board through his knowledge of the ERCOT processes, his strong management experience, and his experience in the information technology area,” Board Chair Jan Newton said.  “As board chair, he did a tremendous job guiding the board through some complex and difficult issues during his tenure.”  

Formerly an information technology executive and independent management consultant, Armentrout has accepted a position with the Texas Institute, an independent nonprofit organization in North Texas dedicated to advancing sustainable technology.  He will serve as president and chief operating officer, developing strategic partnerships with university, government and corporate partners that will help advance the institute’s mission. 

“I am appreciative of being allowed to serve the people of Texas for six and a half years and being able to contribute my small part to the greatest power market on the planet,” Armentrout said. “I look forward to my continued service, in a different role, to Texas and the development of energy solutions.” 

The board is expected to authorize ERCOT staff to retain an executive search firm to conduct a national* search and provide candidates to fill the position.  After the search firm identifies qualified candidates, the board''s nominating committee will make a selection.  The new independent board member must also be reviewed by the Public Utility Commission and approved by the ERCOT membership. 

ERCOT’s 16-member “hybrid” board includes five independent members; three consumer segment representatives (industrial, commercial and residential); the ERCOT CEO; the Public Utility Commission chairman (non-voting); and one representative from each of the six industry segments – investor-owned utilities (or transmission owners), municipally-owned utilities, cooperatives, generators, power marketers and retail electric providers.

*UPDATE Oct. 29, 2009: Replaced "statewide" with "national."

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 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 710+ 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.