BATON ROUGE– Entergy Louisiana has started power outages for its customers across the southwestern portion of its service territory, company officials announced Tuesday morning.
“The company is taking this action as directed by our reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, as a last resort and in order to prevent a more extensive, prolonged power outage that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid,” Entergy officials announced in a statement. “Additionally, Entergy continues to follow a directive by MISO to reduce load in the southwestern region of its service territory.”
Entergy officials said crews have taken proactive steps to prepare and protect our assets from the extreme cold as well as placed additional power generation into service. Due to bitterly cold temperatures and the winter storm, the demand for electricity has reached an all-time high.
“We apologize for the inconvenience these outages may cause, but we have an unusual situation right now driven by unusual conditions. We are working to respond and restore power as soon as it is safely possible,” said John Hawkins, vice president of distribution operations. “This loss of generation combined with the peak load has caused a strain on the system. As a result, we are short of the power needed to meet our customers’ demands in that area.”
Depending on conditions, individual customers may experience multiple outages during the day. Entergy officials said it will work to limit the duration of each outage, but due to significant demand on the system and generation outages, options may be limited.
MISO is directing actions to be taken to restore the system to normal operations as quickly as possible and will direct Entergy to stop these outages as soon as the power shortfall no longer threatens the integrity of the rest of the electrical power system.
If customers decide to use a portable generator, use it safely and DO NOT run it in an enclosed spac, officials said. If connecting to the whole house, do so only if the connection has been installed by a licensed electrician to prevent back feed on to the distribution system.
"We continuously keep our communities informed throughout a storm," Entergy's statement read. "Customers are encouraged to download our free app for their smartphone at entergy.com/app and sign up for text alerts. Customers can also stay up to date by visiting the Entergy Storm Center website. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or check for updates with your local news media like radio, television and newspapers.
MISO comprises a pool of electricity generators and users that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and as reliability coordinator 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. In extreme and unusual circumstances, such actions may include these types outages occurring today.