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Eastern US Power Grid Declares Emergency, Power Outages Top One Million, Flight Disruptions Persist Amid Storm Chaos

Eastern US Power Grid Declares Emergency, Power Outages Top One Million, Flight Disruptions Persist Amid Storm Chaos

The powerful winter storm that battered a large swath of the eastern half of the US has left behind an Arctic chill Saturday morning. A regional power grid with 65 million customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia has declared a rare emergency, over a million people have no power, air travel remains disrupted, and reports of highway accidents are some of the most trending topics this morning.

Let’s begin with PJM Interconnection, a regional power grid that stretches from Illinois to New Jersey, which declared a Stage 2 emergency late Friday and asked customers to conserve electricity due to the rising risk of grid instability.

“PJM is asking consumers to reduce their use of electricity, if health permits, between the hours of 4 a.m. on December 24, 2022, and 10 a.m. on December 25, 2022,” PJM wrote in a press release.

PJM’s request for customers to reduce power comes as the grid manager is trying to prevent a Stage 3 emergency, which would result in rolling blackouts across the 13 states and the District of Columbia.

“Demand soared more than 9 gigawatts above forecasts Friday evening — much faster and higher than anticipated. That’s the equivalent of about 9 million homes just popping up on the grid on a typical day,” Bloomberg said.

PJM spokeswoman Susan Buehler told Bloomberg that Stage 2 emergency would “certainly be enough” to avert blackouts across the regional grid because the Arctic blast is only temporary.

In the Carolinas, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress, like several other utilities, have asked customers to conserve power due to energy shortfalls.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

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