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Electric co-ops serving the Brazos Valley praise Brazos Electric’s decision to file for bankruptcy

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 11:07 PM CST
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NAVASOTA, Texas (KBTX) - Brazos Electric Power Cooperative filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in a Houston federal courtroom Monday, citing protection of their customers and member cooperatives from exorbitantly high electric bills caused by last month’s unprecedented winter storms.

Brazos Electric is the wholesale power supplier to two major utility companies in the Brazos Valley: Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative and Midsouth Electric Cooperative. Both companies praised Brazos Electric’s decision for filing.

In a statement, NVEC General Manager Steve Jones said, “I believe Brazos Electric Cooperative acted in the best interest of NVEC and our membership by shielding us from the catastrophic financial effects of the winter storm.” He also said the decision was necessary for NVEC to provide continuity of service to its nearly 14,000 members.

Midsouth looked to put customers at ease with their statement, saying in part, “This Brazos bankruptcy filing is not expected to affect the delivery of electricity to Midsouth members, nor do we anticipate any immediate or short-term changes to the wholesale rates.” It went on to say the long-term impacts of the storm are still being assessed, and they will continue to use every tool available to mitigate that impact to their customers. You can read Midsouth’s statement in its entirety by clicking here.

Some Midsouth customers claim they are confident the company will figure out the best way to move forward. Kate Engler is one of those customers who lives in Navasota expressing that sentiment.

“We have had really good luck with MidSouth. They are great,” Engler said. “We haven’t had any issues with them, so I’m sure that they will resolve everything that is happening.”

Some customers said they are fearful due to the uncertainty linked to the circumstances moving forward. But others like Engler point to the fact their homes never lost power during February’s arctic blast to be optimistic about how they’ll decide to handle the situation.

“We were really lucky. We had power and water the whole time,” Engler said. “All I can say is thank you to Midsouth because we made it through pretty okay.”

Executive Vice President and General Manager of Brazos Electric Clifton Karnei said in a statement the company will prioritize what matters most to their member cooperatives and retailers as everyone continues to work to get back to normal after the storm’s disruptions. “We expect this court-supervised process will provide us with the protections and mechanism to protect and preserve our assets and operations, and satisfy obligations to our creditors,” Karnei went on to say in that statement.

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