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Energy emergency downgraded

Energy emergency downgraded

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WAHOO – After enduring temporary power outages for two days, the energy emergency created by a blast of arctic cold in the Midwest was downgraded by the wholesale electricity provider on Tuesday afternoon.

Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a wholesale provider that covers a 17-state region from the Canadian border to Texas, issued the declaration at 12:31 p.m. Tuesday. SPP supplies electricity to all of the other public power districts in the state, including Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), which sells electricity to Wahoo Utilities, and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Butler Public Power District (BPPD), which provide electricity to the rest of Saunders County.

SPP declared a level 3 energy emergency alert on Monday because of extreme cold temperatures across the nation, which led to record energy demand in the SPP region. The energy supplier urged its customers to cut back consumption and warned that curtailments could be necessary to balance the supply and demand of electricity.

The local power districts implemented “rolling blackouts,” temporary power outages in various parts of their districts, on Monday and into Tuesday morning. Customers in several parts of the county endured these outages, which ranged from 30 minutes to two hours.

SPP downgraded the alert on Tuesday because all available resources have been committed to meet obligations, and SPP is at risk of not meeting required operating reserves, the energy supplier said in a press release. The alert was moved from level 3 to level 2 at 11:30 a.m. and then down to level 1 an hour later.

Also in the press release, SPP representatives said the emergency alert levels could fluctuate for the next 48 hours due to continued high load and persistent cold weather.

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