I’d like to discuss the recent and unprecedented wintry weather that barreled into Texas and knocked out power across the state. Reports stated 3 million people were without electricity days after the storm had passed. The winter storm will lead officials to reevaluate the electric grid to prevent a similar event in the future.
Could such an event happen here? It is not uncommon to temporarily lose electricity during a storm, usually the result of a specific incident like a tree limb knocking out power lines. REMCs work with wholesale power providers and other utilities to prevent Texas-like events in several ways:
We are prepared for extreme winter weather. Our plants are winterized so that snow and ice will not stop them from working through the winter.
We are connected to other Midwestern states – and more – to ensure reliable energy is available. In Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, REMCs are part of an energy grid that connects states from the base of the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast, and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. As a part of this larger interconnected energy grid, we can work with power suppliers and partners in neighboring states to ensure that energy needs are met.
Our power supplier has developed an energy portfolio that includes a variety of fuel sources such as natural gas, landfill gas, nuclear energy, coal, solar and wind. If any one source of fuel supply is interrupted, our exposure to high market prices is greatly limited. We prepare for threats of price volatility to ensure that our members benefit from stable energy rates.
We also benefit from local green energy sources including wind energy in White County and landfill gas plants in Buffalo, Indiana, that provide 24/7 power. With a variety green energy production, we ensure that, even if it is raining in Indiana, there can still be power generated from other resources.
Each year, REMCs work with wholesale providers, utility regulators and grid operating agencies to ensure that we are prepared to handle demands placed on the energy grid – particularly for extreme weather. While we cannot predict every disaster or emergency, we diligently collaborate with our partners to ensure that we can keep the lights on for you.
*Our power supplier sells the majority of renewable attributes associated with the electricity produced by these renewable power sources, therefore, it cannot claim the kilowatts that are generated as renewable within the overall supply portfolio.