Evergy suspends rolling blackouts

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 6:35 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Evergy has suspended the rolling blackouts plaguing the state on Tuesday morning.

Evergy says at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, it has suspended its rolling blackouts planned for Tuesday. It said the move came after the SSP lifted its emergency order.

According to Evergy, power should be returning for those that have been impacted.

We thank you for working with us this morning. At 10:15, the SPP lifted the current order and intermittent outages have...

Posted by Evergy on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Evergy said the SPP will continue to operate under emergency energy alerts as the extreme cold extends throughout the week, putting a strain on the regional power grid, which may result in more outages as severe weather continues.

Feb. 16, 6:35 a.m.

Nearly 100,000 Evergy customers impacted by rolling blackouts Tuesday

In a news conference Tuesday morning Evergy announced nearly 100,000, which is about 10% of their customers, are being impacted by rolling blackouts.

Here’s a look at their current outage map.

Evergy said they received word around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday from the region’s power grid, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), that they needed to implement more temporary outages.

Chuck Caisley, Evergy’s Sr. Vice President & Chief Customer Officer said outages began at 7 a.m. and they hope to be done by Tuesday afternoon.

Free State Electric Coop said they also could potentially be impacted by the blackouts. They said if one of their lines fed by Evergy is affected, then their customers on that line will go out.

You can find Free State’s outage map here.

Caisley said Evergy’s power supply is sufficient to meet demand, but that they had to implement rolling blackouts at the direction of SPP to maintain grid stability in their 17-state regional power grid.

In Monday’s first round of blackouts, Caisley said only 2% of customers were impacted and outages lasted between 30-60 minutes. He said Tuesday’s outages are lasting closer to 90 minutes.

If you experience an outage longer than 90 minutes you can report it by calling 800-544-4857. Evergy also asks that you remain patient during this time.

Caisley adds there are several reasons more people are being affected by Tuesday’s rolling blackouts. He said it’s the coldest day throughout the service area, more people are using energy to stay warm, SPP plants have gone down in other states, there’s transmission congestion, and Monday there was less energy use due to the President’s Day holiday.

Evergy used their news conference Tuesday morning to explain the strain the extremely cold weather is having on the region’s energy system. Caisley said coal piles freeze and fuel becomes difficult to get in this weather due to access to fuel issues coming from trains, trucks, or the pipeline. He said the wind turbines also freeze up slowing the carbon emission-free supply.

Evergy encourages customers to conserve their energy by turning thermostats to 65-68 degrees, avoid the use of electric space heaters, turn off unnecessary lights and appliances, and delay non-essential uses of energy like washing and drying clothes or washing dishes.

To prepare for a temporary outage, they encourage people to make sure phones, tablets, and other devices are fully charged, fill up gas tanks and have an emergency kit with items like blankets, gloves, hats, layers of clothes, flashlights and batteries.

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