As I compose this article, winter weather conditions experienced by the Midwest and South-Central states contributed to power outages affecting millions of electricity customers. The cascading power supply issues impacted some in our region. However, I am pleased to say that PVREA members experienced no power quality or loss of power issues.
Millions of Americans were without power as the brutal winter weather spiked demand for electricity, causing widespread outages and forcing Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and other states to institute rolling blackouts to conserve energy. Texas was by far the hardest hit, with more than 4 million customers without power during the event. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers go out to those that were adversely impacted across our great nation.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) are agencies in charge of ensuring the reliability of the electric grid. FERC and NERC have already begun an inquiry, working with other federal agencies, states, regional entities, and utilities to identify problems with the performance of the bulk-power system and, where appropriate, solutions for addressing those issues. We will be following their findings closely to ensure we will not find ourselves in a similar situation.
While I am thankful that this was a non-event for PVREA, the experience illustrates the need for a robust Regional Transmission Organization (RTO); something PVREA has been promoting for several years with our state legislators. In previous articles, I have stressed the importance of an RTO to help make the grid more resilient by allowing for the maximization of an integrated grid to draw on all available resources across a much larger geographical footprint to serve our needs.
So how can you help us ensure policies, regulations, and an RTO are done in a way to ensure reliability remains a pillar for PVREA? I ask that you please sign up for our grassroots campaign. Doing so will allow us to call on you to act when legislation or a regulation is being considered that would benefit or harm our reliability. Sitting on the sidelines should not be an option and we will make it easy for you to have an impact when needed.
To sign up text GOCOOP to 25886, visit www.pvrea.coop/grassroots or continue reading on page 8 of this issue to learn more about how you have a voice.
Overall, as we look at the recent power outages in much of our country, I am proud and thankful to say the big story is there is no story for members here at PVREA! The power stayed on and our grid operated as expected. We have and will continue to deliver on our mission of keeping the power on for homes and businesses across our Northern Colorado communities. Again, help us keep the electric grid reliable by signing up for our grassroots effort — you do have a voice and that is the cooperative difference.
President & CEO