Texas' largest power company seeks bankruptcy protection after storm

Texas' largest power company says in court filings it can't afford its power bill after a winter storm drove power prices to record highs two weeks ago.

Brazos Electric Power Coop has 1.5 million customers across 68 counties.

Brazos said that it received excessively high invoices from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas for collateral and for purported cost of electric service. The invoices were required to be paid within days. As a cooperative, Brazos' costs are passed through to its members and retail consumers served by its members. Brazos decided that it won't pass on the ERCOT costs to its members or the consumers.

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"Let me emphasize that this action by Brazos Electric was necessary to protect its member cooperatives and their more than 1.5 million retail members from unaffordable electric bills as we continue to provide electric service throughout the court-supervised process," Clifton Karnei, executive vice president and general manager of Brazos, said in a prepared statement.

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Brazos said that it will continue to supply power to members as it restructures the cooperative while under bankruptcy protection.

More companies are expected to fold as power bills come due. Sources tell ABC13 that ultimately, it will be the consumer who pays the bill as costs are passed down in one way or another.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Greg Abbott calls on ERCOT leadership to resign during ABC13 one-on-one interview
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The governor appeared visibly frustrated when asked about the response to the state's power outage crisis by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Watch the full interview in the video above.

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