UPDATE at 10:15 a.m.: Officials with OG&E say that Southwest Power Pool has notified them that temporary service interruptions are no longer required at this time.
“While temporary service interruptions are not being required at this time, the continued extreme cold weather forecasted for the region, combined with the high demand for natural gas, increases the potential for the reinstatement of these short-term service interruptions,” a note from OG&E read.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials warned that rolling power outages could resume for much of Oklahoma as the grid operator struggles to keep up with demand and a second winter storm is on the horizon.
On Monday, Southwest Power Pool reported that their grid was on overload.
As a result, OG&E announced that about 20,000 Oklahomans had their power turned off to help restore electricity levels across the region.
After a few hours of the rolling blackouts, SPP announced that their reserves were restored.
“We could be in and out of this situation between now and Thursday,” COO of SPP Lanny Nickell said.
OG&E tells KFOR if it’s forced to start rolling blackouts again, there will be zero warning when your power could be cut.
Just before 7 a.m. on Tuesday, SPP announced that it was declaring an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 effective immediately for its entire 14 state area, including Oklahoma.
“System-wide generating capacity has dropped below our current load of approximately 42 gigawatts due to extremely low temperatures and inadequate supplies of natural gas,” SPP posted on Facebook.
The group says that it will be working with utility companies to implement “controlled interruptions of electric service throughout the region.”
As a result of the announcement, OG&E said it has initiated temporary service interruptions in the following areas:
- Oklahoma City
- Pauls Valley
- Midwest City
- El Reno
- Del City
- Warr Acres.
“Service interruptions are mandated by SPP in order to manage regional system load. The estimated duration of the service interruption is approximately two hours,” OG&E posted.
To conserve electricity, Oklahomans are encouraged to avoid using major household electric appliances and turn off non-essential electric items.
Businesses are asked to minimize the use of these items as much as possible too and consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production.
One thing everyone can do is turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees.
Oklahoma Natural Gas provides tips on conserving energy use, prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
KFOR asked OG&E’s spokesman David Kimmel about Oklahomans who are dependent on oxygen. Those customers are terrified about the implications of rolling blackouts.
Kimmel says that it will be up to customers to prepare for any potential blackout.
“Unfortunately, we just can’t do anything. We can’t isolate our outages to prevent those from impacting people who are, you know, certain homes on a circuit. So those folks who have the oxygen, they need to be prepared with extra tanks or a backup power supply for their machines. There’s just not a whole lot we can do in a situation like this when we have to move so quickly. The fortunate thing is these outages are controlled and they don’t last for more than an hour to an hour-and-a-half, so hopefully we get the power back up very quickly,” Kimmel said.
EMSA officials say if you rely on medical equipment that needs electricity, you should call your medical provider to come up with a plan if a blackout affects your area.