Residents in Nebraska and throughout the central U.S. have been asked to take steps to cut back their energy consumption as regional power officials are working to handle extreme demand caused by very frigid weather.
In response to supply and demand conditions, the Southwest Power Pool Monday morning declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 across its service territory, which includes most of Nebraska.
An EEA3 signals that the power pool’s operating reserves were below required minimums, and to prevent widespread and longer-lasting outages, member utilities, including NPPD, were told to prepare to implement controlled interruptions of service as necessary. Outages of about 30 minutes were reported in a number of central and eastern Nebraska locations, and in the Panhandle, PREMA had announced plans through social media for an hour-long mid-day outage for customers west of Hemingford.
End-use customers are asked to follow their local utilities’ instructions regarding the potential for outages, the need to conserve electricity or natural gas, and other steps to ensure their safety and the integrity of the regional grid.
“Controlled service interruptions are a last resort, and a step we take only when necessary to safeguard continued reliability of the regional grid,” said SPP’s executive vice president and chief operating officer Lanny Nickell, in a prepared statement provided to PREMA. “If necessary, SPP will instruct our members’ transmission system operators to reduce electricity demand by an amount needed to prevent further and uncontrolled power interruptions.”