Friday, February 3, 2023

Rolling Blackouts Saturday Prevented Forced Outages of Substations

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

Oxford Utilities, like other electric providers that receive their power from the Tennesee Valley Association, participated in rolling blackouts Saturday to help keep the electric grid stable.

And it worked, according to Oxford Utilities General Manager Rob Neely.

Temperatures plummeted Friday night to 5 degrees with -15 windchill and remained around 12-15 degrees on Saturday.

OU performed rolled blackouts from around 6 to 10:30 a.m. Every circuit was blacked out for 15 minute-intervals except one, which had breaker issues and electric crews were unable to disconnect it.

The local power companies in the seven-state TVA region managed to shave off over 3000MW of the load off the TVA system during the rolling blackouts.

1 MW is 1,000,000 watts of power.

The blackouts were very impactful as they literally saved TVA from having to initiate ELCP Step 60, which would have meant forced outages for entire substations, taking control out of the hands of the utilities,” Neely said Monday.

The extreme cold has also wreaked havoc on some residents’ water pipes, freezing them up and bursting as the temperature rises above freezing.

Neely said if a resident has a leak or a pipe bursts, they should call a plumber to turn off their service at the meter box and repair the line as quickly as possible.

Any leaks on the city’s mains should be reported by calling the Oxford Utilities’ main office during business hours at 662-232-2373 or the water division at 662-232-2399. After-hours water and sewer calls should be made to the police department at 232-2400.