CLARKSDALE, Friday, January 19, 2018 – On the evening of Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) called Central Louisiana Electric Company (CLECO), which provides regulation and dispatching services for Clarksdale Public Utilities (CPU), with an emergency request for CPU to generate 35 MW of electricity with Units 8 and 9, the natural gas-powered electric generation units located at the Lewis L. Wilkins Generating Station, by 6 am on Thursday, January 18. The request was that the units run until approximately 11:00 am to help with the demand of usage in the area due to the extreme cold weather. Units 8 and 9 are regularly maintained, and the amount of power each can generate is proven once a year, entitling CPU to substantial billing credits which benefit all of CPU’s customers. With the extreme temperatures, some of the coldest Clarksdale has seen in years, along with the precipitation, many components of the two units were frozen. CPU’s employees worked all night thawing the equipment and getting the units going. Critical elements of Unit 9 needed to be replaced because of the weather. The unit was unable to be started in the required window for generation. However, Unit 8 was up and running at around 4:00 am Thursday morning, freeing up 16 MW of electricity for other areas in need outside of Clarksdale. Customers all over the southeast have been asked to reduce their energy usage to avoid an emergency overload to the power grid.
“Many utilities in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee were recently running short of electricity and asking their customer to reduce electrical use. Fortunately, due to excellent planning over the past twenty-five years by the CPU Board of Commissioners and employees, CPU was able to supply reliable electricity to Clarksdale and also assist communities throughout Mississippi and the Southeast during the recent low temperatures” shared Mark Johnson, General Manager for CPU. “CPU has been given the privilege to provide electricity to Clarksdale, and CPU’s very dedicated employees have the knowledge and experience to maintain and operate complex electric generation units in a safe and reliable manner. All of our employees and Commissioners take our responsibility to serve very seriously, and we work around the clock every day to provide electricity, water and sewer services while also being a service to others in every way we can.”
Also, due to recent extreme temperatures across the United States, CPU has been asked by Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) to generate electricity at the Crossroads Plant several times in the last week. The Crossroads plant ran for the better part of the morning last Friday, January 12, Thursday morning, and again this morning to transmit electricity to customers throughout the Midwest.
About Clarksdale Public Utilities
Clarksdale Public Utilities is a public utility company serving Clarksdale, Mississippi. It’s mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community. Learn more at http://www.cdpu.net
Name: Chris Campos
Director of Communications and Public Relations