Little Rock, Ark. — Feb. 16, 2021 — Due to extreme winter conditions and record power usage, The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas were forced to implement emergency contingency plans that included short-term, rotating power curtailments at some local electric cooperatives. Curtailments were discontinued at 9 p.m., however the situation remains critical.
“This unprecedented situation is related to a number of factors, including a very volatile natural gas market, lack of dispatchable power generation resources and the extremely cold weather across multiple states,” said Andrew Lachowsky, vice president of planning and market operations for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Despite public appeals to reduce usage and working with large industrial member, Arkansas’ electric cooperatives were forced to implement the short-term curtailment plan in order to avoid major wholesale power delivery issues.”
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, the wholesale power provider for the state’s 17 local electric cooperatives, continues to work with regional transmission operators to address current issues.
Electric cooperative officials are working diligently with the reliability coordinators to restore normal service as soon as possible.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and AECC, a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.