Winter Storm Uri was an unprecedented weather event in February 2021 that left a lasting impact on all electric utilities. The historic storm caused significant disruptions to the regional power grid and highlighted the need for improved resilience in the face of extreme weather events.
The bitter cold led to an extraordinary surge in demand for electricity as more power was needed for heating and other essential needs.
Part of our preparation is to educate our members about the importance of having a diverse energy mix through an educational campaign called the Balance of Power.
Another key component is for members to better understand and prepare for potential curtailments. When electric demand is extremely high, and there is not enough available generation, curtailments are mandated by our wholesale power generation organization to protect the electric grid from collapsing and to keep power flowing.
A curtailment is a CONTROLLED reduction of power. It has a LIMITED duration.
Curtailments are a last resort measure to safeguard the electric grid.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have adopted a statewide curtailment communications plan to keep you informed of potential service interruptions. As the National Weather Service keeps Arkansans informed during potential severe weather, this communications plan serves a similar purpose. When directed by our wholesale power generation organization, we will begin the following curtailment alerts based on level of concern and action needed:
LEVEL 1 – Watch in place. Members are asked to conserve energy.
LEVEL 2 – Warning in place. Members are asked to prepare for the strong possibility of curtailments.
LEVEL 3 – Curtailments have started. Members are informed of the area impacted.
C&L Electric will make every effort to alert you about potential curtailments as quickly as possible through numerous means of communication. Unfortunately, there are times that the electric demand spikes so rapidly that there is little to no time to give warning and notify members prior to curtailments occurring. We will utilize social media as a means of communication with members. Follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/clelectric.
C&L Electric works to provide our members with Affordable, Reliable and Responsible energy. Winter storms like Uri and Elliott in December 2022 were reminders of the challenges that extreme weather and the resulting high power demand place on the electric grid. The storms’ impact highlighted the need for continued investments in infrastructure, diversification of energy sources, improved communication, and emergency preparedness strategies.
Learn more about the Balance of Power at https://aecc.com/balance-of-power/.