(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / Feb. 16, 2021 / 9:40 a.m.) – Due to extended severe cold weather that is affecting most of the country, the City of Stillwater is advising its residents that additional electric service curtailments may occur because of a shortage of power in our region.
Stillwater’s electricity is supplied by the Grand River Dam Authority, which is part of the Southwest Power Pool, the electric balancing market for a 17-state region that stretches from Canada to Texas.
The SPP has been challenged with juggling the supply of power in the face of historic levels of demand for natural gas during unprecedented low temperatures. The duration of the cold weather is causing gas wells to freeze and other issues.
“Because the situation is so fluid, we cannot guarantee the ability to inform the public of upcoming curtailments,” said Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle. “We have been told by the Grand River Dam Authority to expect additional curtailments. But we have no idea how many more we might see.”
The City is being told each curtailment will last an hour or less and will affect several thousand customers at a time.
For each outage, the City curtails service for a random set of customers sprinkled across the city. The outage affects residences and businesses. Essential infrastructure such as the hospital, nursing homes, police, water plant, etc. will be exempt from curtailment in service.
The next rolling outage for Stillwater will include some of the same customers from Tuesday’s early morning curtailment affecting around 7,500 customers.
“We know the outages are frustrating for our customers. It is extremely frustrating for City employees who pride themselves on providing the highest quality service,” McNickle said. “We wish we could provide more advance notice, but it is beyond our control.
“This is a rare, multi-day blast of extreme weather that is affecting tens of millions of Americans. Customers across the region are losing power for a brief period as the SPP manages the supply of energy. Like countless others, we are doing our part.”
In the event of an outage, Stillwater residents on oxygen and other medical support devices should make sure they have backup supplies and may need to contact their medical equipment provider.
Stillwater residents are encouraged to continue to take conservation efforts during the period of sub-freezing weather. Those steps include:
· Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees;
· Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows;
· Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances;
· Avoid using large appliances (ovens, washing machines, etc.)
· Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible;
Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
For more information regarding the City’s winter weather plans, go to http://stillwater.org/news/view/id/678.