The country is consuming more energy that it can create. That’s causing potential energy shortages all across the U.S., including here in Pierre.
During times of extreme temperatures when energy demand is high, utility customers in Pierre and throughout much of the country might experience a short-term controlled electrical outage. If there is a controlled outage in Pierre, it is not expected to last more than two hours.
According to Brad Palmer, City Utilities Director, the best thing for customers to do is conserve energy and stay up-to-date on the potential for a controlled outage.
“Energy is generated on demand; it is created at the immediate time of use,” said Palmer. “That means our power providers can’t predict when, exactly, or if there will be an energy shortage that leads to a call for short-term power outages.”
The electric grid and wholesale power for the entire center portion of the country between the Canadian border and northern Texas is managed by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). If energy demands start to outweigh generation, the SPP will issue an energy alert or an energy emergency.
An alert means controlled outages are likely, people should start to reduce energy use. An emergency means controlled outages are in progress.
“If people are concerned about potential short-term outages, I encourage them to visit cityofpierre.org and register at public.alertsense.com,” said Palmer. “As the SPP provides us with information, we’ll push it out to the public online, through AlertSense, and through local media.”
Palmer also said that if a controlled outage is ordered in Pierre it’s unlikely the entire City will be impacted at once.
Additional information about the potential energy shortage, as well as energy conservation tips can be found in the July City utility mailing and online at cityofpierre.org