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Could the coal power plant have prevented the rolling blackouts? Springfield City Utilities explains

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 8:19 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The winter storm tested utility providers and put pressure on the power grids, which raised the question, could the coal power station have provided additional energy?

The answer...

“Having coal generation might have helped with the overall power generation on the system, but it really doesn’t matter,” said Joel Alexander Springfield City Utilites Media Manager. “When you get the order from the regional authority that you need to shed electric load, that’s the time you have to shed electric load.”

The weather conditions were so extreme that even coal-powered facilities had issues, as well as systems that typically have harsher winters.

“We are winterized for the weather conditions that are historically what the Ozarks sees and that’s the way the pipelines are done from Texas all the way to Canada. And when I say all the way to Canada, even Canada was having difficulty with the natural gas transmission. It was that cold.” said Alexander

Springfield City Utilities provides 45% of the power to its customer base with renewable energy resources but, even that had its challenges.

“Any commodity is going to have its challenges at some point. When you go below zero and stay below zero for 12 days or two weeks, however, you want to look at it, and your nighttime temperatures go into record lows that you haven’t seen since the 1900′s, that’s going to tax whatever kind of system you have,” said Alexander

The natural gas peak shaving unit was also used to help sustain power for the first time since it was built in 2007. The James River Power Station was decommissioned on Jan. 28 after more than 63 years of service to the community.

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