Our power reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), experienced an unexpected and immediate loss of generation units late in the evening on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, affecting Mississippi and other states. MISO is tasked with maintaining reliability of the regional power grid through much of the central U.S. and parts of Canada. This decrease in available generation was compounded by an increase in energy demand caused by frigid cold covering most of our nation, and this resulted in an immediate need to force outages.
On the evening of Feb. 16, MISO directed Cooperative Energy, SRE’s generation co-op, to enact forced outages to substations for four Mississippi cooperatives, including Singing River Electric’s Benndale substation in George County. The generation outage lasted approximately two hours and ended at 9 p.m. At that time, SRE engineers began working to repower the substation by circuits to ensure the substation repowered successfully.
SRE has annual preparations for forced generation outages, however this is the first time in the more than 80-year history of the co-op that this type of outage occurred. It happened suddenly, late in the evening with no warning as to which substation would be affected.
MISO made the decision to enact forced outages to prevent more extensive and prolonged outages.
Though we do not anticipate any further generation issues this week, we are working with Cooperative Energy to review the forced generation outage and communication plan to ensure a more immediate and comprehensive communication in the future.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.