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Report: Oklahoma ranks among highest for power disruption this winter

Fré Sonneveld

A new report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation says a number of states, including Oklahoma, are among those at higher risk for power disruption in the event of a major winter storm.

The 2023-24 Winter Reliability Assessment found that the Southwest Power Pool, which manages the electric grid for Oklahoma and several other states, is at an “elevated risk” of having insufficient energy supplies to meet demand in extreme conditions.

The NERC says there’s enough resources for normal winter peak demand, but if we were to have another major winter storm like in 2021, it’s possible Oklahoma could experience another similar situation.


“Extreme cold weather events can cause electricity demand to deviate significantly from historical forecasts," said Mark Olson, NERC’s manager of Reliability Assessments. "Electricity demand in winter is closely tied to outside temperature. As electric heat pumps and heating systems become more prevalent, their combined effect on system demand is even more pronounced," Olson said. "The growth of intermittent resources, like solar generation, on the distribution system significantly increases load forecasting complexity and uncertainty.”

The Southwest Power Pool addressed the report during a meeting on Monday. The SPP doesn't anticipate any reliability issues that would impact service for winter, but officials did say that unexpected extreme conditions could pose a challenge.

Nyk Daniels is KGOU’s Morning Edition host.
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