Coast Electric CEO thanks members, explains call for reduced energy use

Coast Electric CEO thanks members, explains call for reduced energy use

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Wednesday morning's "critical energy shortage" that affected Coast Electric and Singing River Electric members has been resolved, but many people still have questions about what caused it to begin with.

Coast Electric CEO Ron Barnes took to Facebook Wednesday afternoon to explain. But let's start with a little background.

Coast Electric and Singing River Electric get their power from Cooperative Energy, a generating and transmitting cooperative in Hattiesburg. Cooperative Energy, in turn, is part of MISO, Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

According to multiple sources, MISO sent word early Wednesday morning asking all of its members systems to request that members reduce their electric consumption because of extremely high usage nationwide. As members of MISO, Coast Electric, and Singing River Electric are required to help keep the electric grid balanced.

"Cooperative Energy set an all-time peak Wednesday morning of more than 1780MW. Coast Electric also had a generating capacity of 2200MW. It wasn't really a capacity problem for us, but more of a problem for the whole Southeast region," Barnes explained.

"Our system worked just fine, we had no problems. We only had a couple of minor outages. However, load conditions in the South because this cold is gripping the entire Southeast United States is really what caused the need for us to ask for reduced load," Barnes said.

"We greatly appreciate our members coming to our aid this morning helping us to reduce the power. We're not out of the woods yet. It is still 20 degrees. The wind chill is six where I am in the Kiln," Barnes said.

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