Winter Storm Updates
Current grid conditions: high alert, customers asked to cut back on electricity use
For LP&L news and updates, read below.
Update: Feb. 18, 2021 at 2 pm
Southwest Power Pool Removes Energy Emergency Alert; Regional Electric Grid Performing Well as Lubbock Power & Light Continues Urging Conservation
Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional transmission grid currently supplying Lubbock Power & Light’s (LP&L) local electric grid, removed the Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning after elevating to Level 2 conditions Wednesday night. SPP remains in conservation mode. For the second morning in a row, SPP avoided having to issue controlled rotating outages for this region of the state Thursday morning, as they were able to bring more generation online to meet the morning demand for electricity.
While the SPP is no longer under EEA, LP&L and area electric providers continue to urge customers to conserve electricity for the next 24 hours as the winter storm is expected to dissipate moving into Friday. LP&L’s locally owned electric grid is performing well and shows no sign of being overloaded as record demand continues to put a heavy strain on the grid at home and across the region.
Extreme weather conditions and curtailed power generation in this region of the country caused electric reserve margins to reach a critical point on Tuesday requiring SPP to instruct all utilities in the regional power grid to perform controlled rotating outages. LP&L customers experienced these rotating outages for fifteen minutes early Monday afternoon and from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Outside of these mandated rotating outages, customers experienced small-scattered outages throughout the past three days as the winter storm caused damage to equipment both on the LP&L grid and the adjacent Xcel Energy grid which feeds into our system.
Electric load forecasts predict that the historic strain on the SPP power grid will remain an issue until the winter storm passes. The amount of power consumed in this region dropped during key hours on Wednesday and again on Thursday, which contributed to avoiding another round of preventative actions being necessary. This drop in electric consumption and therefore demand on the system can be directly attributed to the efforts of our citizens to cut back on usage.
“We are grateful for our customers stepping up and doing their part to cut back on electric usage during this challenging time,” said David McCalla, Executive Director of LP&L. “The LP&L grid continues to perform at a high level and with the efforts of our customers and the additional generation capacity coming online in the regional grid, we have a pathway to finish out this historic winter storm without being called on to enact further controlled rotating outages.”
LP&L continues the stress that conservation efforts must be taken seriously but do understand that our customers need to perform everyday tasks as we enter the fourth day of this conservation call. Customers are encouraged to perform tasks such as washing dishes and doing laundry during the hours of 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. when system-wide electric usage is low. Keeping tasks that require large amounts of electricity to this timeframe will allow customers to perform necessary tasks without risking overburdening the regional electric grid.
Outside of the hours of 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., we ask customers to resume conservation efforts.
Suggestions on how reduce electricity use include:
• Setting thermostats to 68 degrees or lower.
• Suspending use of electrical appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc.)
• Putting off tasks at work, if possible, that would demand electricity (power tools, maintenance equipment, etc.).
• Turning 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.
LP&L will continue to monitor weather and grid conditions and will update customers as new information becomes available.
Update: Feb. 17, 2021 at Noon
SPP Remains at Energy Emergency Alert Level 2; LP&L Urging Conservation and Asking Customers to Keep Heavy Electric Use to the Afternoon Hours
Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional transmission grid currently supplying Lubbock Power & Light’s (LP&L) local electric grid, remains at Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 2 today after elevating to Level 3 conditions yesterday morning. While the region is no longer at the highest threat level, requiring controlled rotating outages, LP&L and area electric providers remain prepared to respond should grid conditions change and continue to urge customers to cut back on electricity use.
While extreme weather conditions and curtailed power generation in this region of the country remain, the SPP was not required to instruct LP&L and other regional providers to implement controlled rotating outages this morning, as was the case yesterday. This was in large part due to the successful conservation efforts of electric customers.
Update: Feb. 16, 2021 at 10:20 am
As of 10:20 am, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) informed LP&L that we could stop controlled rotating outages for the time being. We remain on high alert, and may begin rotating outages again if instructed by SPP. If we are required to do so, we will inform customers.
Update: Feb. 16, 2021 at 9:45am
At this time, controlled rotating outages are still in effect. These outages are lasting an average of 30 minutes. If you are without power for 2 or more hours, please text or email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Feb. 16, 2021 at 6:55am
SPP Instructs LP&L, Member Utilities, to Initiate Controlled Outages to Maintain System Reliability
As extreme cold weather persists across the 14-state Southwest Power Pool (SPP) balancing authority area, electricity use has exceeded available generation. SPP declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 on the morning of February 16, when it was forced to begin relying on required reserve energy. After exhausting usage of available reserve energy, SPP has now directed LP&L and all member utilities to implement controlled rotating outages effective immediately to prevent further, more widespread and uncontrolled outages.
SPP has instructed LP&L and other member utilities to reduce electricity demand by an amount needed to prevent further uncontrolled outages. LP&L customers can anticipate controlled rotating outages lasting from 15-45 minutes. These outages will affect customers across the city at various points in time until the alert has been removed by SPP. Customers may experience multiple outages. LP&L will provide additional updates as the situation evolves.
Update: Feb. 15, 2021 at 5pm
Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional transmission grid currently supplying Lubbock Power & Light’s (LP&L) local electric grid, returned to Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 2 this afternoon after elevating to Level 3 conditions late morning. While the region is no longer at the highest threat level requiring controlled rotating outages, LP&L and area electric providers remain prepared to respond should grid conditions change and continue to urge costumers to cut back on electricity use.
At 1 p.m. on February 15, SPP instructed LP&L to enact a brief rotating outage affecting approximately 1,000 customers across the city. The outage lasted 15 minutes and assisted in alleviating strain on the regional electric grid.
With cold temperatures still gripping the region and energy demand at record levels, electric utilities across the area continue to urge customers to reduce energy use. Doing so could help prevent the need for controlled rotating outages, and prevent the possibility of a more severe uncontrolled outage.
Update: Feb. 15, 2021 at 11am
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.
Update: Feb. 15, 2021 at 10:30am
With extreme cold temperatures still gripping the region, Lubbock Power and Light (LP&L), Xcel Energy and the electric cooperatives in the Texas South Plains, Texas Panhandle and eastern and southeastern New Mexico regions have declared a higher Energy Alert level and are urging customers to cut back on their use of electricity.
Suggestions on how reduce electric load include:
Failure to reduce electricity demand could result in controlled electric service interruptions within the region.