Control day or not: Who makes the call?

Days of load control

March 2021

Weather and load control forecasts are hard to predict. Conditions change throughout the growing season.

“Our philosophy is to let irrigators run their systems as much as possible, while we make sure that Dawson Public Power District meets all the load management control requirements,” says Cole Brodine, Engineering Manager.

Dawson PPD receives load control direction from Nebraska Public Power District. NPPD buys and sells power through the Southwest Power Pool. The SPP also acts as a traffic controller, making sure power flows through a grid that links several states together.

Daily, NPPD and SPP make plans about how they will balance electrical generation to meet the needs of all the customers. That balance includes wind turbines, coal fired plants, hydro and nuclear generators as well as load management.

The daily plan considers weather, crop conditions, power line capacity, generators that are available to run and the cost to run each generation resource.

Once SPP has notified NPPD of their decisions, then NPPD makes a local plan for customers across the state. They announce this plan for each control group by 8:30 a.m. However, as the load varies, this plan can be altered. Dawson PPD notifies customers of the load management status for the day. The message is updated if NPPD’s plans change.

Dawson PPD’s load control system is programmed and it monitors the electrical loads. When the conditions are met, the system sends out codes that activate the controller unit. When the control period ends, a restore code is sent to the controller.

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