LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - One of the state’s largest electric providers is asking customers to decrease their electrical usage to avoid power shortages.
According to Entergy Arkansas, they are asking their residential, commercial, and industrial customers to reduce consumption “due to direction from reliability coordinator Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) regarding critical power shortages.”
The company said Thursday that demand for electricity in Arkansas remains “very close” to exceeding generation capacity.
As a result, Entergy said MISO had extended its maximum generation alert until 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
“There is the potential for mandatory forced outages in the next few hours if the demand does not decrease, and customers across the state should be prepared to have controlled outages for what we hope will be no more than 60 minutes per customer until the power demand is reduced. Limiting the use of large appliances and lowering the thermostat on heating units now can greatly impact the number and length of forced outages,” Entergy Arkansas said in a media release.
However, Entergy officials are asking people to conserve energy, especially Friday morning.
Officials have said a mandatory forced outage could help avoid major issues.
“Mandatory forced outages will decrease the likelihood of widespread outages and long-term damages to the bulk electric system. Circuits serving emergency facilities or where loss of service presents significant risk to public safety and health will be high priority to maintain power,” Entergy Arkansas said.
Officials are also asking people to limit the use of large appliances and to lower the thermostat due to the situation.
Craighead Electric officials also provided tips Thursday to help conserve energy.
Also, the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative was notified Wednesday that its provider could mandate NAEC start rolling temporary outages.
The outages were expected to start as early as 5 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.
The first outage could last about an hour.
The Three Brothers Substation and the Salem 2 Substation could be the first members of the cooperative to be impacted by an outage.
Officials said on Facebook they expect the need to shed load to end around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.