Power restored after abrupt outages; conservation of energy still suggested

Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 2:23 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An increase in demand for power, due to extremely cold temperatures, resulted in an overload of the power grid Tuesday night.

MISO instructed Cleco and Entergy to reduce demand on the power grid by beginning periodic outages to customers across Louisiana, including customers in New Orleans, Slidell and Covington. MISO originally authorized controlled outages until midnight.

Around 9 p.m., a spokesperson for Cleco says MISO rescinded the order in the southern sector.

For around two hours, over 20,000 customers were without power.

A spokesperson for the Sewage and Water Board says power was lost at the Hamilton Station. Generators were used to continue operations with no impact to customers.

Officials are still recommending you conserve energy.

View the Cleco outage map here

View the Entergy outage map here

Governor John Bel Edwards released the following statement late Tuesday night:

“This evening, I spoke with Entergy Louisiana’s CEO as the company, and others across our state and region, began rolling outages at the direction of their reliability coordinator, MISO. They assured me this was done as a last resort, in order to prevent more extensive, prolonged power outages in Louisiana that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid. Further, these rolling outages will be done only when necessary, and the aim will always be to minimize the impact to any individual customer or household.”

“This is happening tonight across multiple states in the South. Because of extremely cold temperatures over the last several days, the demand for electricity has reached an all-time high. This afternoon I spoke with President Biden about our ongoing challenges in Louisiana because of this severe weather, including my concerns about Louisianans facing power outages in such cold temperatures. We are not the only state where extreme winter weather has taxed electrical and generation systems, and it is our hope that this issue will be resolved quickly and with minimal impact to our people.”

“While our crews worked to prepare for this storm, a loss of generation combined with the peak load due to record-low temperatures have caused a strain on the power grid system. In an effort to prevent damage or lengthy power outages, Cleco was instructed by MISO to begin forced power outages,” said Terry Whitmore, vice president of transmission services. “Depending on conditions, individual customers could experience multiple outages each lasting less than an hour until we receive notification from MISO that this is no longer necessary to protect the electric grid system.”

Some actions customers with power can take to conserve energy include:

· Delay laundry, washing dishes, and other non-essential uses of electricity for conservation.

· Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.

· Don’t allow warmed air to escape from the home.

· Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.

· Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees or lower if possible.

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