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Majority of OPPD customers regain power after morning of widespread controlled outages

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Posted at 7:18 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 11:40:30-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — OPPD issued the following statement around 10:05 a.m. Tuesday:

OPPD has rotated another 12,222 customers back online as controlled outages continue Tuesday morning. Customers in Sarpy County and parts of west and central Omaha have been brought back online after undertaking approximately 1 hour outages.

The SPP has directed all its member utilities, from North Dakota to Texas, to have controlled outages to help the power grid stay balanced. Record setting cold temperatures have settled in over the Central Plains region over the last few days and some snow and ice storms in the southern regions have also impacted the situation.

All utilities in the SPPs footprint have been taking part in these controlled outages. For the OPPD area, those outages have been about 1 hour on a rotating basis. While inconvenient for our customers and businesses impacted, the impacts of these outages have been minimal compared to winter snow and ice storms which can cause outages for days at a time.

Currently, there are about 130 customers impacted by the rotating outages.

8:15 a.m. Update:

OPPD says the next group of outages started at 8 a.m. and are expected to last about one hour. This will impact about 8,000 customers in Douglas County.

OPPD says the first set of controlled outages in Sarpy County has been restored.

Original story:

The Southwest Power Pool has directed OPPD to begin more controlled outages Tuesday morning due to the cold weather.

One round of outages is occurring mostly in Sarpy County, according to OPPD's website, which is expected to last from 6:50 a.m. to 7:50 a.m.

Another round of outages began around 7:25 a.m. and may continue for up to an hour, according to a statement from OPPD.

There is potential for continued controlled outages as directed.

As of 7:40 a.m., more than 30,500 customers are impacted.

See an outage map here.

See a statement from OPPD below.

We wanted to keep you informed that the Southwest Power Pool, our regional transmission organization, has directed member utilities within its 17-state region to shed more load. Another round of outages began at approximately 7:25 a.m. and may continue for up to an hour.

As stated previous, unfortunately, we do not have much notice as to when this needs to occur. We are in this with our customers. Many of our employees are also impacted. We’d never do this unless it was absolutely necessary do to the demand caused by this weather event that’s unprecedented for our region.
We wanted to keep you informed that the Southwest Power Pool, our regional transmission organization, has directed member utilities within its 17-state region to shed more load. Unfortunately, we do not have much notice as to when this needs to occur.

These outages are in effect now and may last until around 7:50 (an hour), but could end sooner, if the need is met. We know how tough this is for impacted customers, and we want them to know we’d never do this unless it was absolutely necessary do to the demand caused by this weather event that’s unprecedented for our region.

SPP provided the following update this morning:

SPP is declaring an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 effective immediately for our entire 14-state balancing authority area. System-wide generating capacity has dropped below our current load of approximately 42 gigawatts (GW) due to extremely low temperatures and inadequate supplies of natural gas.

We’ll be working with our member utilities to implement controlled interruptions of electric service throughout our region. This is done as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole. Individuals in the SPP service territory should take steps to conserve energy use and follow their local utilities’ instructions regarding conservation, local conditions and the potential for outages to their homes and businesses.

We are currently forecasting a morning peak of above 44.6 GW around 9:00 a.m. Central time.

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