OG&E No Longer Implementing Rolling Blackouts As SPP Returns To Emergency Level 2

Monday, February 15th 2021, 1:11 pm
By: News 9

OG&E officials issued an update at approximately 3 p.m. Monday saying it would no longer implement rolling blackouts following Southwest Power Pool's announcement of an energy emergency for the region.

In a 2 p.m. press conference Southwest Power Pool officials said enough power has been generated to shift Oklahoma back to an Energy Emergency Alert level 2.

In the noon hour, more than 20,000 OG&E customers lost power in all parts of the service area, including more than 6,000 customers in Oklahoma City.

OG&E said this blackout should last about an hour.

“SPP has directed us to implement temporary interruptions of service,” said Brian Alford, OG&E spokesman. “These will be short-term, controlled interruptions and may continue through mid-week.”

OG&E said while the rolling blackouts have been put on hold there is a remaining possibility that conditions could change. David Kimmel, with OG&E told News 9 they are trying to alert households ahead of time for when they may lose power, but unfortunately there isn't a way to notify everyone.

Kimmel said those who do experience power outages shouldn't expect another one for 24 hours.

SPP declared an energy emergency alert level 3 shortly after 10 a.m. Monday and utility companies in the Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas region would initiate controlled outages.

Less than three hours later, the rolling blackouts began in the Oklahoma area.

OG&E said the energy emergency was due to several factors resulting from widespread, long-lasting and extreme cold weather. The factors include high electricity use across the entire SPP system and limited wind power and natural gas availability.

OG&E said customers can help by taking simple conservation steps such as:

  1. Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits
  2. Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m. when the demand for electricity decreases
  3. Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using
  4. Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible
  5. Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes

“We join SPP, and all the utility companies in Oklahoma and the region, in asking customers to help by reducing their electricity use as safely as possible,” Alford said.

Other utility companies across the state announced they will begin implementing rolling blackouts. They are expected to last about an hour and will continue for the next few days.

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative announced it administered its first rolling blackout to about 600 members in the Newcastle area.

The City of Edmond said it will try to let residents know before they start a rolling blackout.