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LP&L Preparing for Controlled Rotating Outages as SPP Elevates Energy Emergency Alert

Persistent and extreme cold weather has led to region-wide electricity use that exceeds available generation across the service territory. At 10:08 a.m. central time, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional transmission grid currently supplying Lubbock Power & Light’s local electric grid, declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3, signaling that its operating reserves are below the required minimum.

SPP has directed LP&L and other member utilities to prepare to implement controlled rotating outages, if necessary. When instructed by SPP, LP&L will be required to reduce electricity demand by an amount needed to prevent further and uncontrolled power interruptions.

“This is an ongoing record weather event, bringing some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen in 40 years,” said David McCalla, Executive Director for LP&L. “This has put a strain on grids across the state, and while LP&L’s local electric grid has performed well under the circumstances it is required and necessary for Lubbock to aide in this effort.”

In the event of mandated controlled rotating outages, LP&L will provide further information to customers on what to expect. LP&L has also been working closely with the City of Lubbock to reduce electricity use at all City-operated buildings and facilities.

While SPP, LP&L and other member utilities work to restore the regional power grid to full capacity, consumers are urged to reduce electricity use, both at home and work.

SPP declared a period of conservative operations for its entire balancing authority area at midnight central time on Feb. 9. Then, on Feb. 14, SPP declared an EEA Level 1 effective at 5 a.m. central time on Monday, Feb. 15, and subsequently an EEA Level 2 at 7:22 am on Monday, February 15.

The declaration of conservative operations signals to LP&L to operate conservatively to mitigate the risk of worsening conditions. An EEA1 signals that SPP foresees or is experiencing conditions where all available resources are scheduled to meet firm load obligations and that they may be unable to sustain required contingency reserves. An EEA Level 2 required SPP to direct LP&L and other member utilities to issue public conservation appeals.

Suggestions on how customers can voluntarily reduce electric load include:

  • Set thermostats to 68 degrees or lower.

  • Suspend use of electrical appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc.)

  • Put off tasks at work, if possible, that would demand electricity (power tools, maintenance equipment, etc.).

  • Turn off televisions and electronic equipment unless they are necessary to conduct business or to ensure your health and safety.

  • Turn off unnecessary lighting, leaving on only enough to move about safely indoors.



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