Arkansas electric cooperatives monitoring record energy consumption


“I am a little worried about if it gets so hot they may do those rolling blackouts,” said homeowner, Cindy Moore. “I think they do those sometimes so, yeah, that is a concern.”It’s a concern of officials at the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, as well. “Two weeks ago, we hit a new peak of 2,600 megawatts of usage,” said Rob Roedel, Director of corporate relations with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “The previous record is 25 and some change of usage and that can be a challenge.”The Arkansas co-op provides power to 17 electric distribution cooperatives throughout the state. And all those are part of the Southwest Power Pool that serves 19 million customers in 17 states.”That organization is designed to make sure that the entire grid remains reliable and stable,” said Roedel.According to the SPP website, the grid currently is midway between normal operations and a level 3 energy emergency alert. That means the public is not required to conserve. But if it goes past level 3 that could change.”We can meet capacity but in the event, if a plant trips or goes offline for some reason that could create some issues,” said Roedel.Combating those issues include having large commercial users shut down production to offset peak usage. Roedel says there are four steps that can be taken before a consumer would even know there’s something going on.”A blackout or a brown out is an absolute last resort and would only be done to ensure that the grid remains stable and up,” said Roedel.

“I am a little worried about if it gets so hot they may do those rolling blackouts,” said homeowner, Cindy Moore. “I think they do those sometimes so, yeah, that is a concern.”

It’s a concern of officials at the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, as well.

“Two weeks ago, we hit a new peak of 2,600 megawatts of usage,” said Rob Roedel, Director of corporate relations with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “The previous record is 25 and some change of usage and that can be a challenge.”

The Arkansas co-op provides power to 17 electric distribution cooperatives throughout the state. And all those are part of the Southwest Power Pool that serves 19 million customers in 17 states.

“That organization is designed to make sure that the entire grid remains reliable and stable,” said Roedel.

According to the SPP website, the grid currently is midway between normal operations and a level 3 energy emergency alert. That means the public is not required to conserve. But if it goes past level 3 that could change.

“We can meet capacity but in the event, if a plant trips or goes offline for some reason that could create some issues,” said Roedel.

Combating those issues include having large commercial users shut down production to offset peak usage. Roedel says there are four steps that can be taken before a consumer would even know there’s something going on.

“A blackout or a brown out is an absolute last resort and would only be done to ensure that the grid remains stable and up,” said Roedel.

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