End to rolling blackouts? Alert level returns to 1

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star

With temperatures gradually increasing, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) returned the Energy Emergency Alert down to Level 1, though customers are still asked to conserve energy where possible.

“Effective at 10:59 p.m. Central time on Feb. 17, SPP has declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 1 for its entire 14-state balancing authority area,” SPP posted on Facebook. “Generation is currently sufficient to serve system-wide demand across the region and to fully satisfy operating reserve requirements.”

There are multiple EEA levels, OG&E Lead Communications Specialist David Kimmel said, with some resulting in behind-the-scenes actions from the power companies before reaching out to customers. By level 2, he said, generation capacity is at maximum, and at level 3, temporary, controlled power outages are put in place to reduce demand on the grid to keep it from failing.

“Things are looking pretty good at the moment,” he added, though he said with temperatures predicted to be in the single digits overnight Thursday, “We're not out of the woods yet.”

Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., also put a message out to customers on Facebook, explaining the EEA had been dropped to a level 1.

“Based on our most recent information we believe we will be able to hold a Level 1 today, but this can change in an instant. Thank you for continuing to conserve energy where possible and enjoy the sunshine!” the post said.

Wednesday, the company also put up a post to thank its members, saying: “The willingness of you, our valuable members, to play a part has already proven valuable this week and we are asking for your help again. We ask you to turn down your thermostats, delay usage of large appliances, turn off lights, and keep doors, windows and blinds shut to retain heat in your houses. It IS helping to keep the power on. You ARE making a difference. Your continued efforts to conserve energy are greatly appreciated!”

Power companies continue to ask area residents to conserve power where possible.

The AccuWeather forecast for the Shawnee area predicts freezing temperatures to continue Friday, with a predicted high of 32 and a predicted low of 17, followed by a predicted high of 34 for Saturday. Starting Sunday, temperatures are expected to rise into the 40s and 50s next week.