The Southwest Power Pool published a timeline explaining in a little more detail how the energy emergencies have unfolded. Below is that information from the SPP.
SPP remains at an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 2 since 6:28 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, having reached our morning peak of over 38,600 MW around 9:00 a.m. Central time on Wednesday, Feb. 17. We continue to urge all homes and businesses throughout our 14-state region to conserve electricity but are not directing any interruptions of service at this time. The public should follow their service providers’ directions regarding local outages, tips for conservation, and safety.
Thank you for your continued collaboration as we navigate this historic winter storm together.
Timeline of February 2021 Winter Weather Events
- Feb. 9 at 00:00 a.m. In response to the current cold-weather event, SPP first declared a period of conservative operations effective until further notice.
- Feb. 15 at 00:00 a.m. SPP requested that load-serving utilities throughout the SPP region conserve energy beginning at midnight on Feb. 15 and for the following 48 hours to mitigate the risk of more widespread and longer-lasting outages.
- Feb. 15, at 05:00 a.m. SPP declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 1, meaning that all available resources had been committed to meet obligations, and SPP was at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.
- Feb. 15 at 7:22 a.m. SPP declared an EEA Level 2 which required SPP to ask its member companies to issue public conservation appeals, and served as a maximum emergency generation notification for resources, and informed the market that emergency ranges of any resources may be required.
- Feb. 15 at 10:08 a.m. SPP declared an EEA Level 3 when it was forced to begin relying on required reserve energy. This meant it was carrying reserves below the required minimum and had initiated assistance through the Reserve Sharing Group.
- Feb. 15 at approximately 12:10 pm. While still under EEA Level 3 and after exhausting reserves, SPP directed member utilities to implement controlled, temporary interruptions of service.
- Feb. 15 at 2:00 p.m. SPP declared a return to EEA Level 2, restoring load to the region with enough generation to meet demand and minimum reserve requirements.
- Feb. 16 at 6:15 a.m. SPP declared an EEA Level 3. System-wide generating capacity had dropped below current load of approximately 42 gigawatts (GW) due to extremely low temperatures, inadequate supplies of natural gas and wind generation. SPP directed member utilities to implement controlled, temporary interruptions of service.
- Feb. 16 at 10:07 a.m. SPP had restored all load, meaning it had enough generating capacity available to meet system-wide demand. It remained in an EEA Level 3, indicating it was still operating below required minimum reserves.
- Feb. 16 at 11:37 a.m. SPP returned to EEA Level 2 until further notice, restoring load to the region with enough generation to meet demand and minimum reserve requirements.
- Feb. 16 at 12:31 p.m. SPP downgraded to an EEA Level 1. While no longer an Energy Deficient Entity, all available resources were committed to meet obligations, and SPP remained at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.
- Feb. 16 at 6:28 p.m. SPP declared an escalation to EEA Level 2. SPP directed its member companies to issue public conservation appeals. The alert will remain in effect until further notice. At the time, SPP had enough generating capacity online to meet system-wide demand but was taking steps to mitigate the risk of outages.
Descriptions of all most common reliability events are provided below in increasing order of severity:
Normal Operations: SPP has enough generation to meet demand and available reserves, and it foresees no extreme or abnormal threats to reliability.
Weather Alert: Declared when extreme weather is expected in SPP’s reliability coordination service territory.
Resource Alert: Declared when severe weather conditions, significant outages, wind-forecast uncertainty and/or load-forecast uncertainty are expected in SPP’s balancing authority area.
Conservative Operations: Declared when SPP determines there is a need to operate its system conservatively based on weather, environmental, operational, terrorist, cyber or other events.
Maximum Emergency Generation Notification: Issued when SPP foresees a need to make use of emergency ranges of resources.
Energy Emergency Alert Level 1: Declared when all available resources have been committed to meet obligations, and SPP is at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.
Energy Emergency Alert Level 2: Declared when SPP can no longer provide expected energy requirements and is an Energy Deficient Entity, or when SPP foresees or has implemented procedures up to, but excluding, interruption of firm load commitments.
Energy Emergency Alert Level 3: At this level, SPP is utilizing operating reserves such that it is carrying reserves below the required minimum and has initiated assistance through the Reserve Sharing Group. Declared when SPP foresees or has implemented firm load obligation interruption. Before requesting an EEA 3, SPP will have already provided the appropriate internal notifications to its Market Participants.
Restoration Event: Defined as a major or catastrophic grid outage which could be a total or partial regional blackout, island situation or system separation.