Southwest Power Pool Issues Energy Emergency Alert Warns of Possible Widespread and Sustained Outages

Southwest Power Pool has recently issued an Energy Emergency Alert and is taking measures throughout the region to mitigate the risk of widespread and sustained outages.

SPP has declared a Conservative Operations Advisory for the entire SPP Balancing Authority (BA) footprint in the Eastern Interconnection, effective from 11:00 a.m. CT, Friday, Dec. 23, until 12:00 a.m. Sunday, Dec., 25, 2022. This advisory is due to continued high loads, severe cold weather, and wind forecast uncertainty.

This advisory follows the end of an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 1 that was in effect for the entire SPP Balancing Authority (BA) footprint in the Eastern Interconnection from 8:27 a.m. CT to 10:00 a.m., Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. A Conservative Operations Advisory does not require the public to conserve energy. Individuals should contact their local utility for details specific to their area. 

The chart below shows the relative severity of the Conservative Operations Advisory in effect with an anticipated end at 12:00 a.m. CPT Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022. 

Note: SPP previously issued a Weather Advisory for the SPP Reliability Coordination (RC) footprint in the Eastern Interconnection effective from 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21 through 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26. The Conservative Operations Advisory replaces an earlier Resource Advisory that was also in effect until 12:00 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022.

Descriptions of common reliability events are provided below in increasing order of severity:

Advisories raise awareness and do not require general audiences to take action. SPP member utilities should follow applicable procedures. Energy Emergency Alerts indicate all available generation has been committed to meet region-wide demand. As conditions worsen, voluntary conservation or service interruptions may be necessary to prevent uncontrolled outages.

Normal Operations: SPP has enough generation to meet demand and available reserves, and it foresees no extreme or abnormal threats to reliability.

Weather Advisory: Declared when extreme weather is expected in SPP’s reliability coordination service territory.

Resource Advisory:  Declared when severe weather conditions, significant outages, wind-forecast uncertainty and/or load-forecast uncertainty are expected in SPP’s balancing authority area.

Conservative Operations Advisory:  Declared when SPP determines there is a need to operate its system conservatively based on weather, environmental, operational, terrorist, cyber or other events.

Energy Emergency Alert Level 1:  Declared when all available resources have been committed to meet obligations, and SPP is at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.

Energy Emergency Alert Level 2:  Declared when SPP can no longer provide expected energy requirements, or when SPP foresees or has implemented procedures up to, but excluding, service interruptions to maintain regional reliability. 

Energy Emergency Alert Level 3:  At this level, SPP is utilizing operating reserves such that it is carrying reserves below the required minimum and has initiated assistance through its Reserve Sharing Group. SPP foresees or has implemented firm load obligation interruption. Before requesting an EEA 3, SPP will have already provided the appropriate internal notifications to its Market Participants.

Restoration Event:  Defined as a major or catastrophic grid outage which could be a total or partial regional blackout, island situation or system separation.

Please be advised that this could eventually affect or impact Carroll Electric customers. At this time, the Cooperative is asking its customers to voluntarily conserve electricity until further notice. 

Customers can reduce the use of electricity by adjusting thermostats to higher settings and by limiting the use of appliances, clothes dryers, dishwashers, and electric water heaters.

Keep in mind, Carroll Electric only distributes electricity and does not own or have operational control over any power plants or power generating facilities. Carroll Electric, along with the other sixteen electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas, are member-owners of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC).

AECC is a generation and transmission company that supplies wholesale electricity for all seventeen distribution co-ops in Arkansas. AECC also belongs to two different regional transmission organizations (RTOs) — the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).

AECC and its member cooperatives have an obligation to both MISO and SPP to implement emergency load curtailment plans when needed to provide load relief during BPS energy emergencies and power shortage events.

RTO power supply for Carroll Electric is illustrated below:

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As a regional transmission organization, Southwest Power Pool is charged with pairing generation supply with the demand for electricity over multiple states and is ultimately responsible for the operational control of the regional electric grid.

RTOs essentially function as air traffic control managers, regulating the number of planes – in this case, electricity – that leaves an airfield and later arrive at their final destination.

While we understand conserving electricity during this time is an inconvenience, we are grateful to our customers for their help in this matter.

The Cooperative will continue to post periodic updates on its website as the situation further develops.

For more information on Southwest Power Pool’s current grid conditions, please visit:
Current Grid Conditions

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