Energy Emergency Alert update for February 16

February 16, 2021

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 starting this morning at 6:15 a.m. The emergency alert means electric generation in the region is not sufficient to meet the extreme and widespread demand for electricity. SPP began temporarily shutting down power, otherwise known as rolling blackouts, in order to reduce demand on the system. Several utilities throughout the region were affected.

SPP currently has enough generating capacity available to meet system-wide demand. As of 12:31 p.m. Central time SPP has downgraded the EEA to Level 1. This is declared when all available resources have been committed to meet obligations, and SPP is at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.

SPP previously declared a move from EEA Level 3 to EEA Level 2 at 11:30 a.m. Central time. 

SPP’s forecasts anticipate that due to high load and persistent cold weather, it is likely its system will fluctuate between EEA levels over the next 48 hours.

Additional blackouts may take place this evening into tomorrow to reduce stress on the system.

While unfortunate, these steps are taken to protect the grid and prevent outages due to system damage, which could take days or weeks to repair.

Heartland continues to ask customers to take necessary steps to conserve energy. Delay or discontinue use of appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Turn your thermostat down. Shut off unnecessary lights and discontinue use of space heaters.

SPP is a regional transmission organization that oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of a diverse group of utilities and transmission companies in 17 states.