Action Taken as Directed by MISO Due to Inclement Weather, Increased Demand, Loss of Generation
HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Cooperative Energy has implemented periodic power outages for the members of its 11 electric distribution cooperatives across Mississippi. The Cooperative is taking this action as directed by reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), as a last resort in order to prevent a more extensive, prolonged power outage.
Cooperative Energy has taken proactive steps to prepare and protect the electric system from the extreme cold. All Cooperative Energy units have been running continuously and generating 300MW more electricity than was being consumed by its members; however, the loss of generating units across the southern United States has placed a significant strain on the entire electric grid. The demand for electricity is currently at an all-time high due to bitterly cold temperatures and the winter storm.
Members affected will only experience a periodic temporary loss of electric service. This procedure repeats across the service area on a rotating schedule until the issue is resolved.
“Extreme weather conditions across the region are placing a strain on the country’s electric system,” said Christa Bishop, executive vice president and chief communications officer. “Forced generation outages, below-normal temperatures, and high demand is causing a critical shortage of electricity in parts of the southeastern United States. Cooperative Energy and our 11 Member systems are doing our part to stabilize the electric grid as safely and quickly as possible. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work with MISO to avoid even more extensive outages.”
Depending on conditions, some Members may experience multiple outages during the night.
MISO is taking action or directing actions to restore the system to normal operations as quickly as possible. MISO will direct Cooperative Energy to stop the periodic outages as soon as the power shortfall no longer threatens the integrity of the electrical power system.
Members of the 11 Member electric cooperatives are encouraged to visit their system’s website to find out how to stay connected and updated throughout the storm. Follow Cooperative Energy on Twitter @CoopEnergyMS or check for updates with your local news media.
MISO comprises a pool of electricity generators and users that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. As reliability coordinator, MISO is responsible for monitoring the portion of the electric grid it oversees and providing instructions to its members regarding actions needed to maintain reliability in that portion of the grid. In extreme and unusual circumstances, such actions may include requests to limit electricity use or periodic outages.