BISMARCK, ND –The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC)is aware that many utilities in North Dakota are experiencing controlled outages due to low temperatures,high demand for energy, and low amounts of renewable generation including wind and solar throughout the region.
These outages are usedas a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.North Dakota has two regional transmission organizations that coordinate and operate a multi-state electric grid. Both the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) have issued alerts regarding grid challenges during peak demand times. They have indicated that controlled outages may occur in order to stabilize the transmission system and prevent failure of the entire system.
These outages may occur with little to no notice to yourutility, and are not managed by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, or any other state office or agency.These outages may occur for the next couple of days and residents are asked to prepare for a loss of power.
It’s also important for everyone to conserve energy whenever possible. Some tips for conserving energy include: Turn down your thermostat as low as tolerable–65 degrees or lower if possible. Turn off electric heat in your garage or shop if you can (do not turn off if there are water lines present).
Turn things off: Make sure lights are turned off when leaving a room and only use lights when needed.Switch off televisions, computers, video game consoles, and cable boxes when not in use. Don’t run appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes washers/dryers. Clothes dryers are one of the biggest energy users in the home. Turn down the temperature on your electric hot water heater.
Those who have alternative heating fuels, such as wood fireplaces, should consider using them to reduce electric or natural gas heating. Open curtains to let in sunlight during the day. Set ceiling fans to turn clockwise to push warm air down. Use low-temperature cooking methods and if using the oven, only open the door when necessary.
Residents are encouraged to keep up to date with their utility by visiting their website or following their social media sites. Impacts will be different for each utility and customers should follow advice being sent out specific to their areas. The North Dakota Public Service Commission is a constitutionally created state agency with authority to permit, site and regulate certain business activities in the state including electric and gasutilities, telecommunications companies, power plants, electric transmission lines, pipelines, railroads, auctioneers, commercial weighing devices, pipeline safety and coal mine reclamation. For more information, contact the Public Service Commission at (701) 328-2400 or www.psc.nd.gov.
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