Due to the current widespread and extreme cold weather conditions, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 this morning, which means that generating capacity has dropped below demand for electricity. This is currently resulting in rolling outages across East River Electric’s service area. This is a regionwide event, meaning consumers of multiple utilities are affected. SPP is a regional transmission organization that oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of a diverse group of utilities and transmission companies in 17 states. East River Electric Power Cooperative is a transmission owner in SPP, which means that all cooperative consumers in our region are affected by this event.

Due to the emergency alert, East River Electric is expecting outages of up to an hour that will be on a rolling basis this morning. This is an emergency, quickly changing situation.

The following is a listing of impacts that have occurred so far on East River’s system: The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which is the Transmission Operator for our region, was directed by SPP to take an outage at 7:00 a.m. this morning of about 200 megawatts. WAPA de-energized substations in parts of western Minnesota impacting about 2,000 members of Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative and City of Tyler customers. Around the same time, WAPA also de-energized substations serving Southeastern Electric customers in the Viborg, Hurley and Menno areas impacting about 2,200 consumers in that area. Then at 7:30 a.m., WAPA was directed by SPP to de-energize another 200 megawatts, so they de-energized substations serving Sioux Valley Energy members on the east side of Sioux Falls – totaling about 5,700 consumers.

Substations near the Redfield, Cresbard and Mansfield areas were de-energized just before 8:00 a.m. affecting FEM Electric and Northern Electric consumers. The Viborg, Hurley and Menno areas were back on before 8:00 a.m.

The region’s utilities will continue to provide updates as they are available.