Entergy Arkansas is asking its customers to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage.
This unusual request is due to the demand for electricity potentially exceeding the available generation because of extreme cold and weather conditions currently impacting the service territory. Current load forecasts are approaching an all-time peak, even greater than those experienced during the polar vortex of January 2019.
The company’s reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, made this request to Entergy and other utilities in its footprint, including other utilities in our area. If the power supply cannot meet the demand, then periodic power outages would be needed to prevent an extensive power outage that could last an extended period.
Entergy crews have taken proactive steps to mitigate the impact of the extreme cold to our system, including placing additional power generation into service and adding additional personnel to our crews to closely monitor our facilities.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this request may cause,” said Kurt Castleberry, director of Resource Planning and Market Operations, “but the extreme temperatures for consecutive days are driving up electricity usage. This is an unusual situation driven by extreme weather conditions much of the country is experiencing. We are working to respond and bring the electric system back to a normal operational state as soon as possible.”
Castleberry added that the request does not apply to elderly customers or those with special health concerns.
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.
To balance the demand for power with available supply, Entergy has special agreements in place with some industrial and wholesale customers that allow for power curtailments during conditions in which such curtailments are needed to help maintain reliability. Some immediate ways residential customers can reduce electricity usage include:
• Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees and adjust window units accordingly.
• Use energy-efficient ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the warm air to help with your comfort.
• Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
• Delay laundry, washing dishes, bathing and other non-essential uses of electricity until this appeal for conservation has ended.
• Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
• Don’t allow warmed air to escape from the home.
Entergy has been a member of MISO, one of the nation’s largest regional transmission organizations, since December 2013. MISO is a not-for-profit member-based organization that ensures reliable, cost-effective delivery of electricity across all or parts of 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province. In cooperation with stakeholders, MISO manages approximately 65,000 miles of high-voltage transmission and 200,000 megawatts of power-generating resources across its footprint. Being a part of MISO allows Entergy to better coordinate and optimize generation, transmission and gas across MISO’s entire region and the United States.