In the News: Rolling Power Outages
A message from EnerStar CEO Brent Reyher
While rolling outages are certainly attention-getting, thankfully they are a rare occurrence. They typically occur when other efforts have failed to make up the shortfall between the supply of electricity (generation) and the demand for electricity. In each region of the US, a regional transmission system operator is responsible for this delicate balancing act.
When extreme weather conditions place a significant burden upon the electric grid, the regional operator may require electric utilities to reduce electric load immediately. This is done to prevent widespread, catastrophic power outages across the entire electric system. This is what is unfortunately happening in the state of Texas this week. The demand for electricity is greater than the supply.
To immediately reduce electricity consumption, “rolling power outages” may be required. “Rolling” outages are simply scheduled outages where electric consumers share a portion of an outage rather than one group experiencing one longer outage, sparing the others. These types of outages are thankfully uncommon and usually reserved for the short-term. Unfortunately, historic weather conditions in Texas have extended the rolling outages. While this statement is greatly oversimplified, the Texas electric grid is built more for heat, than cold.
You may be wondering what EnerStar does to prevent power outages. A key co-op goal is to prevent unplanned outages as much as possible. This is accomplished via multiple activities including, but not limited to, routine maintenance and testing of equipment, vegetation management practices, as well as systematic upgrades/replacement of electrical equipment. Though undesired, unplanned outages do unfortunately occur. Equipment fails, vehicles collide with electric poles, and heavy ice can break a pole in two or snap a line. Whenever an outage occurs, your coop’s primary goal becomes one of restoring power as safely and efficiently as possible. As we work to restore service, we will continue to do our best to keep you informed regarding anticipated restoration times via our website, text messaging or Facebook posts.
If you have further questions or concerns about planned or unplanned outages, please reach out to your trusted energy partner, EnerStar, via email or telephone.