EIA: Grid Power Interruptions down slightly in U.S.last year, but worst still hits many states

Nov. 15, 2022
Among the longest duration outages, Winter Storm Uri caused more than 4.5 million customer outages in Texas in February 2021, as an extended freeze shut down 52 GW of power plant capacity

Power grid customers in Louisiana, Oregon, Texas, Mississippi and West Virginia experienced the longest duration system outages in 2021, as storms and other challenges impacted electricity resiliency, according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Conversely, electricity customers in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, North Dakota and Nevada had the shortest total time of non-momentary grid power interruptions last year, the EIA noted. For those states, those outages ranged from 52 minutes in DC to 102 minutes in Nevada.

Among the longest duration outages, Winter Storm Uri caused more than 4.5 million customer outages in Texas in February 2021, as an extended freeze shut down 52 GW of power plant capacity, including gas-fired and wind generation.

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Hurricane Ida also hit Louisiana especially hard, leaving some 1.2 million customers without power for an extended time, then wreaking havoc across much of the U.S. Overall, Louisiana suffered a total time of more than 80 hours in grid outages—the worst such number calculated by the EIA.

On a more broad, slightly positive note, U.S. electricity customers experienced just more than seven hours of electric power interruptions in 2021, almost an hour less than the previous year. The average duration of those interruptions stayed at close to two hours, which has remained consistent over the past decade, the EIA says.

The nation experienced 21 named storms last year, making it the third most active Atlantic weather season on record. The need for both decarbonization and power resiliency is driving many businesses and mission critical entities such as airports to beef up their microgrid and on-site power capacities.

2022 Summer of Weather Discontent intensifies pace of C&I, Mission-Critical Energy moves

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