Southwest Power Pool briefs Oklahoma regulators on its February storm response RSS Feed

Southwest Power Pool briefs Oklahoma regulators on its February storm response

Last year’s winter-season load demands from utilities, cooperatives and authorities making up electricity users on the Southwest Power Pool factored into determining which consumers in Oklahoma had to go without power for an hour to two on Feb. 15 or Feb. 16.

That and other information about how the pool (SPP) operator weathered February’s ferocious storm was provided through a briefing conducted by an executive from the regional transmission organization (RTO) for elected members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and members of the public last week.

During a virtual meeting broadcast online, SPP’s Chief Operating Officer Lanny Nickell also discussed the unprecedented weather event, the impact it had on expected availability of various types of power sources, how other RTOs, Independent System Operators (ISOs), cooperatives and a utility helped SPP keep power flowing at times and how the RTO and its members will review what happened as they plan for the future.

Oklahoma’s burden

Precise numbers of customers who had to endure brief rolling outages during Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 were not provided as part of the briefing.

But what regulators and the public were given was a clearer picture on which power providers on the grid were forced to curtail or “shed” loads, impacting electricity users served by the SPP across a footprint that includes Oklahoma and parts or all of 13 other states and stretches north across the Great Plains to Canada.

Decisions about how to allocate those load curtailments were previously made by a group consisting of SPP administrators and representatives of member companies last year.

How were those decisions reached?

The Oaklahoman