PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- In South Dakota, we don’t typically have to deal with rolling blackouts to reduce demand on our electrical supply, but the chances of that happening here are increasing.
Pierre Utilities Director Brad Palmer says how electricity is generated has changed over the past decade or so.
Palmer says extreme temperatures across the country are causing a spike in energy demand.
Palmer says the best thing for customers to do is conserve energy and stay up-to-date on the potential for a controlled outage.
Palmer says utility companies won’t get much advance notice that they need to reduce their load on the electrical grid. He used this example for City of Pierre electrical customers.
The electric grid and wholesale power for the entire center portion of the country between the Canadian border and northern Texas is managed by the SPP. If energy demands start to outweigh generation, the SPP will issue an energy alert or an energy emergency. An alert means controlled outages are likely, people should start to reduce energy use. An emergency means controlled outages are in progress.
Palmer says if there is a controlled outage in Pierre, it’s unlikely the entire City will be impacted at once and any outage is not expected to last more than two hours. He says the best thing for customers to do is conserve energy and stay up-to-date on the potential for a controlled outage.
Palmer says energy is generated on demand, which means power providers can’t predict if or when, exactly, there will be an energy shortage that leads to a call for short-term power outages.