Lubbock Power & Light preparing for rolling blackouts, Xcel too

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Power and Light has been ordered to prepare for controlled outages. LP&L said an Energy Emergency Alert has been issued for the Southwest Power Pool which includes Lubbock.

ERCOT — the power grid for most of Texas — also declared an alert and ordered electric utility companies to begin rolling blackouts.

“This is an ongoing record weather event, bringing some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen in 40 years,” said David McCalla, Executive Director for LP&L. “This has put a strain on grids across the state, and while LP&L’s local electric grid has performed well under the circumstances it is required and necessary for Lubbock to aide in this effort.”

In the event of controlled rotating outages, LP&L said it will provide information on what to expect. LP&L also asked the City of Lubbock to reduce electricity use at all City-operated buildings and facilities. LP&L customers are asked to do the same as are customers of all utility companies in Texas.

Among other things, customers were asked to keep thermostats at 68 degrees instead of 72.

The following is a statement from Xcel Energy, which also has customers in the greater Lubbock area.

Xcel Energy, area municipals and co-ops declare energy emergency, initiate controlled outages

AMARILLO, Texas (Feb. 15, 2021) – Extreme cold has slowed the flow of natural gas fuel to power plants in the central U.S. including Xcel Energy power plants in Texas and New Mexico, limiting output at a time of record energy demand.

To protect the regional grid and maintain reliability, Xcel Energy, along with area electric co-ops and municipal utilities such as Lubbock Power & Light that purchase electricity from Xcel Energy, have been forced to interrupt power to pre-selected electric circuits for up to one hour at a time until system conditions improve.

More than one service interruption may be possible. There is no need to report an outage during a controlled outage event. If customers experience a service interruption of more than one hour they should contact 1-800-895-1999 or report the outage at xcelenergy.com or through the Xcel Energy customer app.

“These temporary, controlled power outages help bring balance to the supply and demand of electricity in the market,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “Xcel Energy uses controlled outages as a last resort, and regrets that the extreme conditions today have led to these interruptions in service.”

Xcel Energy is a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. Xcel Energy initiated controlled outages after SPP called on its members to relieve loading on the central U.S. grid, affecting electric customers in multiple states.

Xcel Energy has notified local governments and law enforcement officials so they can be prepared to direct vehicular traffic if traffic signals are affected.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers at this time,” Hudson said. “We can see real-time at our control center that customers are conserving energy and we are encouraged by the regional spirit in helping each other out in this emergency situation.”

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