BRAZOS ELECTRIC BANKRUPTCY EFFECTS ON MEMBER DIVIDENDS
Due to Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, and record prices on the ERCOT wholesale electric prices during that week, United’s power supplier, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative (Brazos) in March 2021 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to try to minimize the cost impacts to United and the 15 other member distribution cooperatives of Brazos. The bankruptcy process continues today. Ultimately, when the final bill amount is determined as Brazos exits bankruptcy, those costs will be passed to all member cooperatives’ members.
The ripple effect of the ongoing Brazos bankruptcy reorganization has forced United and the other Brazos member distribution cooperatives, who have been bound by wholesale power purchase agreements and operational affiliation with the generation and transmission (G&T) provider, to make contingencies for the bankruptcy and its uncertain effect on future operational strategies and planning.
As a result of those uncertainties that linger on today, United’s board of directors voted in July 2022 to suspend member dividends this year. It is United’s objective to restart member dividends as soon as possible, dependent upon the cooperative’s financial capabilities.