Otter Tail Power Company, which serves a wide area of Otter Tail County, was asked to comment about its electric service reliability in light of system failures in Texas and other areas in mid-February.
Ongoing cold temperatures throughout the nation caused high demand for electricity, with challenges especially difficult in the deep south. Many electric utility customers in those areas experienced extended outages.
Otter Tail Power Company is headed by Pelican Rapids native Tim Rogelstad, who serves as company president. The company, with close to 130,000 customers in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, continued to produce and deliver electricity in mid-February.
Fergus Falls-based Otter Tail Power is a member of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) regional transmission organization.
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) ordered rolling outages for its member utilities. Hearing the news of SPP’s order had many Otter Tail Power Company customers wondering if rolling outages were looming.
MISO and SPP overlap in certain areas of North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota.
As of Feb. 17, Rogelstad and his employees were thankful that Otter Tail Power Company did not have rolling outages. That’s because MISO did not request planned rolling outages from its member utilities in the mid-February timeframe.
“If MISO had ordered us to plan rolling outages for the sake of the broader electric grid, we would have complied,” Rogelstad said. “Thankfully, circumstances didn’t require it. As always, we encourage our customers to be prepared in case of an emergency.”
According to Otter Tail Power Company Communications Director Stephanie Hoff, “MISO is an independent not-for-profit organization that ensures safe, cost-effective that power across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.”
Rogelstad says safety and reliability remain at the forefront for Otter Tail Power Company.
“Our mission is to produce and deliver safe, reliable, affordable energy,” Rogelstad said. “We continue critical maintenance and construction work to uphold the stability of our electric grid in Otter Tail County and throughout our three-state service area.”