Power cuts were requested, then canceled across the grid that includes Oklahoma because power demand exceeds supply

Power suppliers are using natural gas generators like the ones owned and operated by the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Corporation on the West Side of Oklahoma City to help power the grid.  Officials say the shortage of natural gas supplies is making electricity supplies scarce. [THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]
Power suppliers are using natural gas generators like the ones owned and operated by the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Corporation on the West Side of Oklahoma City to help power the grid. Officials say the shortage of natural gas supplies is making electricity supplies scarce. [THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]

Oklahoman residents may be wondering when their power is cut off or returned after local utilities including the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Corporation were issued briefly on Monday to start a blackout when power demand exceeded supply across the central section of the country, where freezing temperatures were much lower. ususally.

Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional transmission operator overseeing the network serving parts or all of the 14 states between here and Canada, notified users via its system at 12:30 p.m. that it was requesting power cuts within parts of its system in an effort to preserve On available energy sources.

The order was issued because the electricity use had exceeded the amount of generation available and there was a need to reduce it, officials said, to prevent more widespread and uncontrolled outages. It asked operators to reduce their services by 1.5% from peak demand on Monday morning.

After about 50 minutes, the SPP pulled the alarm status back to Level 2, and suspended the need for a blackout – at least on a Monday afternoon.

But things are changing. “We expect our cargo to be back again later tonight, and we can be in that position again, and get off the required cuts between now and Thursday,” SPP Chief Operating Officer Lanny Nickel said Monday afternoon.

“In our history as a network operator, this is an unprecedented event and represents the first time SPP has ever had to call for controlled interruptions of service. It is the last resort that we understand is placing a burden on the facilities of our members and the clients they serve, but it is a step we consciously take to prevent conditions worsening, This could lead to uncontrolled interruptions on a larger scale. “

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As for what may come, weather and conservation efforts will play a central role in answering this question.

“It all depends on whether we have enough energy to meet demand,” Nickel said.

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