Power companies make changes in hopes of preventing repeat of last winter

Weather

FORT WORTH, TX – FEBRUARY 16: Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Kansas City is experiencing warmer than normal temperatures, which is the opposite of what much of the country experienced in February.

In February 2021, we weathered frigid temperatures that impacted the country’s energy and heat supply. On Feb. 16 alone, more than 270,000 Evergy customers in the Kansas City area lost power. That’s when rolling outages occurred across the Kansas City area from 7 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

The Southwest Power Pool, the organization that controls the power grid for more than a dozen states, put Independence Power & Light, Evergy, and other companies under emergency orders to reduce electricity usage.

Companies also said the Southwest Power Pool gave them a “matter of minutes” to make the necessary changes.

This year, Independence said its utilities and other members of the Southwest Power Pool are taking steps to prepare differently for this winter.

First of all, Independence Power & Light said it winterized its equipment better this fall to make sure it’s ready for extremely cold weather. Power & Light said it and other members of the Southwest Power Pool also invested more into wind, solar, and other energy options so companies aren’t relying mainly on one source for power.

Members of the power pool are also working to better communicate fuel supplies. They also plan to coordinate outages to ensure they are as short as possible.

Power companies also suggest making repairs to drafty windows and doors now instead of waiting until winter temperatures arrive.

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