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February 2021 Energy Crisis

As of 2/19/2021, this crisis is considered ended. A final notice was posted on our website regarding this extended utility challenge.

1:45am

We lost a primary feed from Evergy and that is what caused the unplanned outage beginning at 1:43am. An Evergy crew was dispatched to get that feed back online while Osawatomie crews worked to restore generated power to sections of town in a safe and responsible way.

3:15am

The majority of Osawatomie was restored to power at this point. Crews were still working on one final circuit. Moving forward through the morning and into the early afternoon, we need to be prepared for additional rolling blackouts as we work through peak consumption hours. Please continue to conserve energy through tomorrow to help lighten the strain on the grid.

WE ARE GENERATING! Our generators have been chugging along for the last 24+ hours to keep Osawatomie’s power stable, but we are also working with our power pool partners and KMEA to help strengthen and sustain energy resources in the area. As we head into peak consumption hours, our generation capacity will be tasked at times. TAKE THE TIME NOW to prepare for rolling blackouts or extended outages (between 60-90 minutes). We might not be able to give adequate notice if rolling blackouts become necessary, so prepare now while power is more stable.

THANK YOU to everyone for their patience and understanding during this energy crisis.

8:30am

SPP (our power pool) has declared an Emergency Energy Alert (EEA) Level 3 effective immediately for our entire 14-state region. Per SPP, “system-wide generating capacity has dropped below our current load… due to extremely low temperatures and inadequate supplies of natural gas.” Just like our neighbors in the KC Metro area, we are now required to implement controlled interruptions of electric service throughout our community beginning this morning and rolling through the afternoon. This is done as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.

Without controlled rolling blackouts, we risk losing the grid entirely which could lead to widespread uncontrolled outages.Take the time now to prepare for continued rolling blackouts. These controlled outages should last no more than 60 minutes.

As we head into peak consumption hours this morning and throughout the early afternoon, please continue to be looking for ways to reduce your household’s electric and natural gas usage. It is still CRITICAL that you conserve as much energy as possible throughout today. If you are a non-essential business, we ask that you considered delaying operations for today to take some strain off the grid.

We are very grateful to everyone who has made small sacrifices so far; it’s been very helpful as we work to keep Osawatomie’s power supply stable between controlled outages.Those sacrifices do not go unnoticed, and we thank you.Please continue to conserve as much energy and natural gas as you can. This will take continued effort from all of us.

9:45am

Controlled rolling blackouts continue for the City of Osawatomie on Tuesday morning. Our power pool (SPP) has declared an Emergency Energy Alert (EEA) Level 3 for our region and we are required to implement controlled rolling blackouts to ensure the integrity of the electric grid. It is critical that we all continue to conserve electric and natural gas energy in our homes and businesses. Our conservation efforts help lessen the strain on the grid and help enormously to keep our electric connection stable between controlled outages. Please continue to conserve wherever it’s safe to do so.

The important thing to understand is that if we (or others in our power pool) do not comply with these controlled outages, demand will outstrip supply and we all go down for an indeterminate amount of time. We would be in much the same situation as the 4,000,000 in the Houston area who are in the dark right now and have been for quite some time. We anticipate at least two more outages this morning/afternoon, but there could be more so PLEASE take the time to plan for continued outages today.

Our partners at Evergy and the SPP are warning that anticipated 30-60 minute outages like we’re currently experiencing could extend to 90-120 minutes if the grid is too strained. YOUR CONSERVATION EFFORTS MATTER!

Our generators have done a tremendous job at helping us to stabilize Osawatomie’s power grid over the last three days as we’ve been called on by the SPP to produce power. The City’s electric grid and Evergy are interconnected, and usually this works pretty seamlessly if we are generating at the demand levels of our customers. However, in the last three days we’ve been unable to meet the heightened demand levels due to the extreme weather. So when Evergy is required to cut power, the City’s grid demand overwhelms our generation capacities and our generators stop. Not to mention the extraordinary difficulty in operating the generators in these temperature conditions, which our utilities crews have been battling head-on since this ordeal started.

Again, we cannot stress how important it is for everyone of us to continue to conserve electric and natural gas energy through today and into tomorrow.Please see our previous posts for tips on how to conserve energy at home during winter weather, and remember that the Osawatomie Police Department and Osawatomie Fire Department are available 24/7 should you or someone you know need assistance.

11:00am

According to Evergy and the SPP (our power pool), our region has been reduced back to Emergency Energy Alert (EEA) Level 2 and the SPP has tentatively called off the immediate need for controlled rolling blackouts.

CONSERVATION IS STILL CRITICAL AT THIS TIME. If we stop conservation efforts and increase our demand on the grid, we will revert back to EEA3 and controlled rolling blackouts will be required with outages lasting anywhere from 30-120 minutes throughout the day.

PLEASE continue to conserve crucial electric and natural gas energies wherever it is safe to do so so that we may remain at EEA2 and avoid controlled outages. Your conservation sacrifices are making a difference to our entire community and we are very grateful. It’s because of all of your efforts that we are able to keep this high level of utility stability when so many others are not. Thank you!

7:00pm

While the City of Osawatomie is not currently at an Emergency Energy Alert Level 3 (EEA3) that would require us to implement controlled outages, we would urge all residents to prepare for that announcement and make plans NOW for another series of outages through the evening or overnight.

As we move into the colder evening and overnight temperatures, the strain on the electric and natural gas energy reserves will worsen and our EEA status might upgrade rapidly, and with little warning to us or you the consumer. While we are doing everything in our abilities to deliver timely information, there is usually very little notice (sometimes none at all) when our grid must be de-energized by our partners at Evergy and SPP (our power pool) to lighten the load on the region. The controlled blackouts are done based on the needs of the grid and, unfortunately, cannot be given a hard schedule or timeline.

This means that we might not get a heads up on when the next series of outages could occur. So, to get ahead of that and help our community be as prepared as possible, we’re letting you know now that continued rolling blackouts lasting anywhere from an anticipated 30-120 minutes IS a possibility over the next several hours and into tomorrow morning.

Conservation efforts continue to be a critical tool at our disposal, and we are grateful for everyone who is making small energy sacrifices to keep our utilities as stable as possible.

Please keep checking our City of Osawatomie Facebook feed for the latest official update on this continuing energy crisis. The information is also available on our website at www.osawatomieks.org/notices and is being pushed to residents who are subscribed to Miami County Sheriff’s Office “Everbridge Alert” system (formerly known as Code Red).

Thank you for your continued understanding as we navigate this historical cold snap.