Southwest Power Pool (SPP) says it will call on utility providers to start temporary controlled interruptions of services to avoid widespread energy outages during the ongoing winter storm on Tuesday (Feb. 16).
OG&E and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) are utility companies SPP has asked to start the planned outages.
SPP says the extreme cold from the storm has caused limited natural gas, wind supply and high demand for electricity across the Midwest. An Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 was declared by SPP due to the situation.
SPP is the power grid operator for the Midwest covering 14 states in the central U.S., including Arkansas and Oklahoma.
“SPP has directed us to implement temporary interruptions of service,” said Brian Alford, OG&E spokesperson. “These will be short-term, controlled interruptions and may continue through mid-week.
SPP says it will work with OG&E and SWEPCO to restore the regional power grid to full capacity.
Utility companies and SPP are urging customers to reduce electricity use during the storm.
Customers can help by -
- Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits
- Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m. when the demand for electricity decreases
- Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using
- Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible
- Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes