February 16, 2021

Rolling Blackouts

5:45 p.m. With warming temperatures, the Midwest’s electric grid is in better shape despite frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies. Although this unprecedented winter weather event is not over, we continue to monitor the situation closely and members will be notified as soon as possible if rolling blackouts are necessary. We ask members to continue safely conserving as much electricity as possible as we work through this weather event. The quick action of members over the last 24 hours to reduce loads and conserve electricity has prevented system outages and is greatly appreciated. Team SEMO will arrive early Wednesday should we need to take action to keep the lights on and the fiber following. Be safe. https://www.kfvs12.com/2021/02/16/heartland-electric-co-ops-warn-customer-possible-rolling-blackouts/

Noon: What a beautiful sunny Tuesday! If it would just get about 65-70 degrees warmer that would be perfect. Thank you for your patience, understanding and participation over the last few days. The rolling blackouts for today have been canceled unless there is a generation plant that has issues in the Midwest. There is a chance again tomorrow morning for rolling blackouts. Please continue to monitor your electrical usage and try to reduce if at all possible. Thank you.

7 a.m. At this time, it is possible we will have to shed load in the next few hours as load is rising. We don't know for sure as things are changing minute by minute. The first substation would be Frisco. The blackout will last less than one hour. The next few hours reman critical for the energy grid to avoid more rolling blackouts. Please reduce energy use.

Will we lose power?

At this point there is no time frame set for rolling blackouts to begin or if they will happen at all for SEMO Electric. The messages during the past few days have been an effort to help you reduce bill shock and help reduce pressure on the electrical system. If it does get to the point rolling blackouts need to be implemented, we will provide notice as soon as we have been informed. The size of the blackout area will depend on how much system load needs to be shed.

Why is it called a rolling blackout?

It is called a rolling blackout for a reason. The goal is to reduce load by impacting a minimal amount of the system for a designated amount of time and then returning power to the affected area and moving to a different area of the system. The way this will be accomplished on our systems will be by deenergizing the entire substation and not just picking and choosing among individual members. The outage should last no longer than an hour and then the substation will be re-energized and another substation in the system will be turned off.

Why is it happening?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer for this situation other than an extreme amount of cold weather affecting a large region of the country at one time. One more thing to keep in mind is that the electrical grid is very complex and involves many parts and the aforementioned cold weather is affecting multiples of these parts at one time.

When?

As stated earlier there has been no directive to shed load at this time, so we are only providing this information to be proactive. Rest assured that if the plan has to be put into motion, we will post the notification here and, on our website, as soon as possible. We will do everything in our power to minimize the event to the best of our ability.

What can I do?

Please continue to be safe and save energy when possible. Thank you for your continued support. The employees (Team SEMO) of SEMO Electric Cooperative, M&A Electric Power Cooperative and Associated Electric Cooperative take pride in providing safe and reliable energy to you, the member. Together, with all of us doing our part, we will make it through this event just like we have in the past.

News story from Kansas City: https://www.kmbc.com/.../level-3-energy.../35514525

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