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SPP Predicts Reliable Power Through Hot Summer

2 min read

Southwest Power Pool, the not-for-profit electric grid overseer based in Little Rock, predicts ample power supplies in its 14-state footprint this summer.

That forecast comes even as summer temperatures figure to be higher than usual, with demand putting an extra burden on infrastructure.

Bruce Rew, SPP’s senior vice president of operations, said that his regional transmission organization’s top priority is ensuring reliability. “We work with our member utilities to monitor the electric grid, maintain contingency plans, and collaborate during periods of operational challenge,” Rew said in a statement Monday.

“While we anticipate no major concerns this summer, we are prepared for any circumstance. Despite a forecast of higher-than-normal temperatures, SPP is confident in our ability to keep the lights on for the 18 million people in our region.”

User Forum

SPP presented its summer forecast to stakeholders during its twice-a-year Emergency Communications User Forum meeting on May 21.

SPP assesses threats to energy reliability each year before the summer season, June to September. It considers historical electricity use, weather forecasts, wind energy variables and potential droughts and power failures.

Weather models predict a 33% to 50% chance of hotter weather this summer across SPP’s service area. Chances of below-normal rainfall are similarly probable, the RTO said.

It computed a 90% probability of meeting peak demand during top usage hours across the 14-state region.

If extreme weather, unexpected outages or other circumstances arrive, SPP will adapt to keep the lights on, it said. Under different scenarios, the grid operator may call on generating units to run earlier or more often, to delay planned breaks in generation, import energy from neighboring systems or tap into available reserves depending on the severity of events.

If conditions threaten reliability, SPP will communicate with members, stakeholders and the public. It plans to use grid notice emails and social media, the organization said. Grid conditions can be found at www.SPP.org/grid-conditions.

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