HURON — Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, power went out for many in Huron, leading to the question: what exactly is going on here?
Tom Glanzer, community relations manager with NorthWestern Energy, said that the outages today are part of a national event due to increasing load on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) authority that runs from Texas all the way up to North Dakota.
“When WAPA (Western Area Power Authority) required the reduction in loads this morning, we were given about 5-10 minutes to take services out of power for 45 minutes to an hour to make room on the system nationwide,” Glanzer said.
This short notice unfortunately makes it impossible for NorthWestern to give customers more advance notice of potential outages.
Glanzer encouraged all customers to limit power usage as much as possible for the next 48 hours, which would be through Wednesday for certain and potentially Thursday as well. Once the weather begins to warm in the southern part of the SPP power territory, usage should decline back to normal levels, allowing for more regular usage across the entire grid.
Customers can assist in power reduction by lowering the temperature in their home to 68 degrees or cooler, turning off or unplugging all non-essential lights and appliances, and avoiding the use of large appliances such as ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines.
The power usage spikes come on the back of historic winter weather across the country over the weekend that has led to deaths in multiple states and millions of people without power.