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Potential for Additional Rolling Blackouts in Moorhead Requested by Southwest Power Pool

For Immediate Release on Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Potential for Additional Rolling Blackouts in Moorhead Requested by Southwest Power Pool


Moorhead Public Service (MPS) has been notified that there is a potential for rolling blackouts possibly tonight between the hours of 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM, as well as tomorrow morning between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM.

Situational Information:

Due to the current widespread and extreme cold weather conditions, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 this morning, which means that generating capacity has dropped below the demand for electricity. This resulted in the need for rolling outages across the SPP footprint―a region-wide event affecting consumers from multiple utilities. As of this afternoon, the SPP has downgraded the EEA to a Level 1. This is declared when all available resources have been committed to meet obligations, and SPP is at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.

SPP is a regional transmission organization that oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of a diverse group of utilities and transmission companies in 17 states. Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) are both transmission owners in SPP and both serve the power supply needs of MPS, which means that Moorhead is affected by this event.


MPS continues to stay alert for this emergency, as it is a quickly changing situation. MPS will provide more information to customers if MPS needs to reinitiate more rolling blackouts upon request by SPP. While we  hope this is never needed, the temporary outages help protect the grid from longer, more sustained outages.


MPS asks that its customers continue to do whatever they can to reduce power usage, such as voluntarily reduce electric usage by delaying running the dishwasher and clothes washer, turning down the heat, and shutting off lights.



Please contact the following individual for more information:

Travis L. Schmidt, P.E., MBA

General Manager

Moorhead Public Service

Phone: 218.477.8000

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Moorhead Public Service, 500 Center Avenue, P.O. Box 779, Moorhead, MN 56561-0779 ♦ 218.477.8000, Option 4

Providing safe and reliable electricity and water to the community of Moorhead since 1895.

For information about Moorhead Public Service, visit our Web site at www.mpsutility.com.

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