In Pictures: Crews Brave Sub-Zero Temperatures to Restore Power

Feb. 15, 2021
Extreme weather conditions caused many generating units to trip offline and become unavailable as high electricity demand strains the power grid.

Severe winter weather across the United States this week has caused emergency declarations, power outages and hazardous road conditions. Nearly 170 million people are under winter weather advisories, according to a CNN report, while almost 3 million customers were without power as of early Monday morning.

A majority of the outages were in Texas, with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) calling for rotating outages as it "entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages at 1:25 a.m." About 10,500 MW of customer load was shed at the highest point, ERCOT reported. This is enough power to serve approximately two million homes.

Extreme weather conditions caused many generating units – across fuel types – to trip offline and become unavailable. There is now over 30,000 MW of generation forced off the system.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) South Region also reported that severe weather has contributed to the loss of generation and transmission. This has led to emergency actions in the region’s western portion to avoid a larger power outage on the bulk electric system.  Periodic power outages began early Monday morning for some customers in Southeast Texas.

Southwest Power Pool also issued a new energy emergency alert Monday morning due to extreme cold. The weather has created energy deficiencies in the region, SPP said.

In Southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, several thousand lost power Monday morning during the dangerous cold weather.

Here are some pictures posted to social media by utilities whose work crews are currently fighting to restore power to areas struck by these outages.

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