Texas power retailer Griddy filed for bankruptcy in Texas Monday after cold weather and grid failures left the company and its customers exposed to spot electricity prices that soared to as high as $9,000 a megawatt-hour.

Griddy blamed its woes on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or Ercot, and its decision to set high power prices for longer than necessary, according to a

statement Monday.

The actions of ERCOT destroyed our business and caused financial harm to our customers, Griddy Chief Executive Officer Michael Fallquist said in the release. ERCOT made a bad situation worse for our customers by continuing to set prices at $9,000 per megawatt hour long after firm load shed instructions had stopped. Our customers paid 300 times more than the normal price for electricity during this period.

The company said in bankruptcy court filing that it had assets of up to $10 million and liabilities of up to $50 million.

We firmly believe in our model but, in order for it to be successful, the grid has to function properly, and prices have to be set by market forces, Griddy co-founder Gregory Craig said in the release. The actions of ERCOT caused our customers to unnecessarily suffer and caused irreparable harm to our business.

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Griddy was

barred from participating in the states power market in late February and Texas Attorney General sued the company in early March, saying it

misled customers and hit them with massive energy costs during the winter storm.

Macquarie Energy-backed Griddy has

said it would challenge the prices set by the grid operator during the crisis, in an apparent bid to recoup losses for itself and its customers. The company

declined to testify at

hearings held the last week of February on Texass unprecedented energy crisis.

Texas is unusual in the U.S. in that homeowners and businesses can choose from a number of power providers.

Griddy charges wholesale prices instead of fixed ones. Knowing that rate structure would mean massive bills for its customers as power prices climbed, the company made the unusual move of

pleading with them to switch to another provider in mid-February. Some customers who didnt switch in time were

stuck with bills for thousands of dollars.

The case is Griddy Energy LLC, 21-30923, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston)

With assistance by Dawn McCarty

(Adds information from news release and court documents in second through fourth paragraphs.)

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