AMARILLO, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from Xcel Energy:
The Southwest Power Pool moved to normal operating status at 10 p.m. Saturday, signaling the end of a power emergency across its 14-state footprint that includes Xcel Energy’s Texas and New Mexico service area along with regional electric cooperatives and municipal utilities.
“We are relieved this emergency is behind us and grateful for the support and understanding of our customers who conserved energy through a long and frigid week,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “Likewise, our power plant workers did an amazing job generating electricity in the harshest of conditions with limited supplies of fuel, sparing us from the lengthy outages experienced in other parts of the state.”
The Southwest Power Pool directed Xcel Energy to initiate two brief rounds of controlled outages on Feb. 15 and 16 when customer demand exceeded available energy resources in the SPP area. Both rounds of controlled outages were limited to the morning hours, with most affected customers experiencing outages of one and one-half hour or less. Enough power plants were available to meet the demand, but many did not have an adequate supply of fuel after regional natural gas production dropped sharply in the frigid cold.
“We will work with our suppliers and regulators to identify the problems that led to these fuel shortages and take steps to ensure they are corrected,” Hudson said. “This was an unusual weather event but it can happen again. We deeply appreciate our customers’ efforts to conserve energy to help preserve the bulk electric system.”
(News release from Xcel Energy)