Regional utilities joining study investigating February rolling blackouts

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Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:23 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota Radio Group) - Electric utilities that were hit with rolling blackouts in late February are joining in a study to figure out what happened and how to avoid it in the future.

Chris Studer with East River Electric tells WNAX there are national and regional reviews underway.

“This is a very rare event,” Studer said. “We all just have to balance how much generation can we build, and overbuild, the system so that we’re ready for an extreme event.”

Studer says there is reserve power available all across the fourteen state Southwest Power Pool, and even that wasn’t enough. He added that overbuilding the electricity generation system is expensive - a natural gas plant can cost $400 million.

The rolling blackouts were caused by record cold temperatures stretching from Canada to Texas for more than a week late last month.

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