February 15, 2021

SPP restores load, anticipates that regional grid conditions will continue to evolve

Little Rock, Ark. — After directing its member utilities to implement controlled interruptions of service shortly after noon on Feb. 15, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has restored load to its 14-state region as of 2:00 p.m. Central time. The grid operator now has enough generation available to meet demand throughout its service territory and to fully meet its minimum reserve requirements.

The SPP system reached a peak electricity usage of 43,661 megawatts (MW) on Feb. 15, and is required to carry additional operating reserves in excess of load. After committing all of its reserves and exhausting other avenues such as importing power from other regions, available generation in SPP fell about 641 MW short of demand for a period beginning just after noon. In response, SPP directed its member utilities to implement planned interruptions of service to curtail electricity use by that amount.

Effective at 2:00 p.m., SPP cancelled the Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 it had declared at 10:08 a.m. when its reserves were exhausted, and re-entered an EEA Level 2. SPP’s forecasts anticipate that due to high load and persistent cold weather, it is likely its system will fluctuate between EEA Levels 2 and 3 over the next 48 hours and may have to direct further interruptions of service if available generation is inadequate to meet high demand.

While SPP and our member companies work to maintain regional reliability, we urge consumers across our service territory to conserve electricity at home and work, and to follow their local utility’s directions regarding safety, conservation, and potential outages.

Henceforth, SPP will cease distributing press releases such as this one with every declaration of an Energy Emergency Alert, and will instead publish regular system updates to social media and to its Current Grid Conditions page on SPP.org. 

SPP thanks the public for their cooperation and understanding during this power grid emergency. Follow us on Twitter or visit SPP.org for updates.

About SPP: Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a not-for-profit corporation mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at SPP.org.


Derek Wingfield, 501-614-3394, dwingfield@spp.org