Entergy explains controlled power outages directed by MISO

Entergy says power cut to some residents  to prevent a more extensive and longer outage
Entergy says power cut to some residents to prevent a more extensive and longer outage(Theresa Schmidt kplc)
Updated: Feb. 16, 2021 at 9:39 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Some who awakened without electricity, were unhappy to find out their provider cut the power.

Entergy officials say certain outages are necessary to avoid bigger problems.

In Southwest Louisiana, the day soon warmed and the ice and snow began melting quickly. Though power was restored, it didn’t stop people from wondering how and why Entergy would initiate power outages.

Entergy officials say the outages were directed by Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which the utility calls its reliability coordinator.

Entergy Louisiana’s Vice-President of Distribution Operations is John Hawkins.

“It was mandated by our reliability coordinator which is MISO the Midcontinent Independent System Operator for Louisiana. And they initiated power outages for customers in Southwest Louisiana,” he said.

Hawkins says, as a last resort, they cut power off to prevent a more extensive and longer power outage they say could severely hurt the reliability of the power grid. And he says MISO makes the decisions.

“MISO is one of the nation’s largest regional transmission organizations and they’re not for profit. What they do is they ensure reliable, cost-effective delivery of electricity across all parts of 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province,” said Hawkins.

So, Hawkins says the outages prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

“A situation like that could possibly take down the whole state. It could possibly be a cascading effect so instead of just affecting your area it will start pulling down multiple areas,” he said.

Hawkins says customers can help by reducing power usage where possible.

As of about 4 p.m., Hawkins said the 55,000 customers affected had power restored. When asked whether there will be more controlled outages, he says there is no way to predict. He says it depends on circumstances.

He says anyone who is still without power should call 1-800-9OUTAGE (968-8243.)

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