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Rolling blackouts hit South Dakota, southwest Minnesota

Electric users are urged to conserve their energy usage today.

The extreme cold and demand leads to planned, rolling blackouts.

The Western Area Power Administration, the Transmission Operator for our region was directed by Southwest Power Pool at 7:00 a.m. this morning to de-energize 200 megawatts. They de-energized substations in parts of western Minnesota impacting about 2,000 members of Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative and City of Tyler customers.

At about the same time, they also de-energized substations serving Southeastern Electric customers in the Viborg, Hurley and Menno areas of South Dakota, impacting about 2,200 consumers.

At 7:30 a.m. they were directed 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.

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. so 30-45 minute outages on a rolling basis seems to be the procedure. In some cases, there has been only a short notice before the blackout.

Southwest Power Pool manages the electric grid and wholesale power market for the central United States. That includes Kansas, Oklahoma,Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming and Nebraska and portions of New Mexico.

 

February 16, 2021