PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 16, 2021 – Cleco has been notified by the regional reliability coordinator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), that extremely cold temperatures are causing an increase in demand for power which is resulting in an overload of the power grid. To help protect the stability of the power grid and prevent prolonged outages, Cleco has been instructed to reduce demand on the power grid by beginning power outages to customers in Eunice, Opelousas, Ville Platte, Mamou, Oakdale and Washington. Cleco joins other electric providers including LUS, SLEMCO and Entergy in the preliminary forced outages in the northern and western portions of the Acadiana region.
“While our crews worked to prepare for this storm, a loss of generation combined with the peak load due to record-low temperatures have caused a strain on the power grid system. In an effort to prevent damage or lengthy power outages, Cleco was instructed by MISO to begin forced power outages,” said Marty Evans, manager of transmission operations. “At this time, we have not been given an estimated restoration time from MISO, and rolling outages in these areas will continue until further notice.”
Some actions customers with power can take to conserve energy include:
· Delay laundry, washing dishes, and other non-essential uses of electricity for conservation.
· Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
· Don’t allow warmed air to escape from the home.
· Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
· Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees or lower if possible.
“If customers decide to use a portable generator, use it safely and do not run it in an enclosed space,” said Evans.