Successful storm response

Snow scene

Winter Storm Elliott packed a punch in December, but Hoosier Energy’s 18 member cooperatives stood strong and experienced minimal disruptions.

The system absorbed a record-setting blow as temperatures dropped nearly 50 degrees in a span of 12 hours on Dec. 22, 2022, and 2 to 3 inches of snow fell across the service territory.

Overall, the average system temperature for Dec. 22-23 was 4 degrees below zero Fahrenheit with heavy wind. With a maximum sustained wind speed of 36 mph and gusts in excess of 50 mph, every aspect of generation and transmission was monitored.

Along the way, Hoosier Energy set an all-time system peak of 1,828 megawatts (MW), which was also coincident with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) peak. That peak, which broke the previous record of 1,714 MW set in January 2019, came during the hour ending at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23.

MISO issued a “Maximum Generation Emergency Warning” to let power plant operators know that the supply of electricity on the grid was getting tight on Dec. 23 at 5:06 p.m., requiring all units to be on standby and ready if called upon. 

Natural gas was flowing and available at Hoosier Energy’s Holland Energy Plant in Illinois but was not called upon. The Worthington Generating Station was also forced on during the event on Dec. 23, with other units on standby.

There was also a call for load management procedures, with 16 of 18 cooperatives participating in the Hoosier Energy Emergency Capacity Portal, but by 9 p.m. that night, the Maximum Generation Emergency Warning was terminated.

Hoosier Energy-owned assets saw no reliability issues, with a limited number of interruptions at delivery points. Ongoing preparation and collaboration have prepared Hoosier and its member cooperatives well for these bouts, and for others in
the future.