OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved an emergency order designed to help gas suppliers and power generators stabilize the state’s electric grid and natural gas infrastructure so to better ensure essential service as the winter storm continues hitting communities across the state.
Corporation Commissioners approved the emergency order at the request of the Commission’s Public Utility Division.
Brandy Wreath, PUD Director, filed an Application requesting OCC issue an emergency order to help the electric and natural gas systems that are necessary for public health, welfare, safety and security.
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional transmission organization and independent system operator whose territory includes Oklahoma, issued a notice of an Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 on Feb. 14 to be effective beginning February 15 due to restraints on the system to meet firm load obligations and the potential to be unable to sustain its required contingency reserves, according to the order.
SPP officials also issued a statement addressing its preparation for worsening winter conditions, noting the organization’s efforts to respond to high electricity demand and inadequate supply of natural gas.
SPP has been required since Feb. 14 to issue Energy Emergency Alert Levels 2 and 3.
SPP officials requested during Level 3 that utilities interrupt service to customers through rolling power outages on short notice to shed the load.
The emergency order gives energy suppliers the ability to reduce gas service to certain large customers in order to maintain infrastructure and meet the demand for natural gas for such essential services as power generation and residential heating.