LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Entergy Louisiana is once again asking customers to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage, especially between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday.
The request is due to the demand for electricity potentially exceeding the available generation due to the extreme cold and weather conditions currently impacting their service territory. Current load forecasts are approaching an all-time peak, even greater than those experienced during the polar vortex of January 2019.
The company’s reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, has made this request to Entergy and other utilities in its footprint, including other utilities in our area. If the power supply cannot meet the demand, then periodic power outages would be needed to prevent an extensive power outage that could last an extended period.
The request for electric use reduction does not apply to elderly customers or those with special health concerns.
Cleco and Jeff Davis Electric Co-op both made similar requests Wednesday.
“Conserving energy now could help keep the lights on later. If the power supply cannot meet the demand, periodic power outages could be needed to protect the stability of the power grid and prevent widespread lengthy outages,” said Jennifer Cahill, director of corporate communications. “Yesterday, we took the unprecedented step, as directed by MISO, to force outages across parts of our service territory. This is only the third time in the company’s 85-year history that this step has been taken – once in 2008 and the other two times during this winter storm event.”
Entergy crews have taken proactive steps to mitigate the impact of the extreme cold to their system, including placing additional power generation into service and adding additional personnel to crews to closely monitor their facilities.
MISO comprises a pool of electricity generators and users that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. As reliability coordinator, MISO is responsible for monitoring the portion of the electric grid it oversees and providing instructions to its members regarding actions needed to maintain reliability in that portion of the grid.
To balance the demand for power with available supply, Entergy has special agreements in place with some industrial and wholesale customers that allow for power curtailments during conditions in which such curtailments are needed to help maintain reliability. Some immediate ways residential customers can reduce electricity usage include:
- Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees, and adjust window units accordingly.
- Use energy-efficient ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air to help with your comfort.
- Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
- Delay laundry, washing dishes, bathing and other non-essential uses of electricity until this appeal for conservation has ended.
- 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.