Southwest Power Pool sees record wintertime electricity use, issues advisories in response to extreme cold
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Dec. 23, 2022 – The effects of widespread and extreme cold have led to new records and the declaration of several advisories and alerts in Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) service territory. SPP set a new record for electricity use during the winter season on Dec. 22, with load exceeding 47,000 MW. The previous record was 43,661 MW, set Feb. 15, 2021.
Higher-than-forecast electricity use and persistent cold led the regional transmission organization to declare an Energy Emergency Alert 1 (EEA1) on Dec. 23, 8:27 am CT until conditions improved and the alert ended at 10:00 am.
Previously, SPP issued a Resource Advisory for its entire SPP Balancing Authority (BA) footprint in the Eastern Interconnection effective at 12 a.m. CT on Dec. 22, 2022, with an anticipated end at 12:00 a.m. Dec. 25. SPP issued a Weather Advisory for the SPP Reliability Coordination (RC) footprint in the Eastern Interconnection effective from 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21 through 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26. Both of these advisories remain in effect as previously declared.
An EEA1 does not require conservation of energy and does not indicate that SPP will be directing controlled service outages. Instead, an EEA1 is an indication that while SPP has enough generation available to meet demand and fulfill its reserve obligations, conditions exist that could put reserves at risk if they worsen.
An EEA1 is the first of three levels of energy emergency alert. An EEA2 would be triggered if SPP could no longer meet expected energy reserve requirements, or if SPP foresaw or had taken actions up to but excluding the interruption of firm load obligations.
End-use customers in the SPP region should follow their local utilities’ instructions regarding the potential for outages, the need to conserve electricity or natural gas, and other steps to ensure their safety and the integrity of the regional grid.
SPP is coordinating closely with our members and market participants and will continue to monitor the situation as extreme cold persists throughout the region.
Visit spp.org/grid-conditions and follow @spporg on Twitter for the latest updates.