Southwest Power Pool issues energy emergency alert due to extreme cold

Garden City Telegram

An Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 was declared Monday by the Southwest Power Pool as the extreme cold has created energy deficiencies in SSP's region.

Member companies of SSP are directed to issue public conservation appeals at EEA Level 2, which will remain in effect until further notice to mitigate the risk of more widespread and longer-lasting outages.

SPP declared a period of conservative operations for the entire balancing authority area at midnight on Feb. 9. Then, on Feb. 14, they declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 1,  effective on Monday, Feb. 15.

The declaration of conservative operations signaled to SPP’s member company utility operators that they should operate conservatively to mitigate the risk of worsening conditions.

An EEA Level 2 is the second of three EEA levels. An EEA Level 3 would be triggered if SSP has to utilize operating reserves below the required minimum or ask for members to implement controller service interruptions.

Operating conditions may continue to tighten over the next several days because of this widespread and extreme cold winter weather event, as well as an inadequate supply of natural gas required to power some gas powered electric generation units.

SPP is coordinating closely with its members and market participants to respond to high electricity demand and ensure the power grid remains reliable.

Energy efficiency steps:

  • Postpone use of major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers.
  • Turn off non-essential electric appliances and equipment such as radios, coffee pots, media centers, etc.
  • Turn off power strips if not in use.
  • Actively turn off computers and monitors not in use. Use a laptop if possible as it uses less electricity than a desktop.
  • Turn off lights whenever possible.
  • Adjust thermostat and reduce unnecessary use of all air conditioning/heating units.
  • For those with an electric range, plans meals that require minimum cooking.
  • Open shades and blinds during the day and close shades and blinds at night to save energy.
  • Wear winter wardrobe indoors.
  • Avoid using exhaust fans.
  • For those with a fireplace, keep the damper closed when not in use.

Those served by Lane-Scott, Pioneer, Southern Pioneer, Prairie Land, Victory, Western, and Wheatland Electric cooperatives are asked to conserve energy for the next several days.