COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With more hot weather in this week’s forecast, AEP, the source of electricity for a large portion of central Ohio, said it will “do everything” to avoid the large number of severe outages experienced last week.
According to a statement from AEP, repairs have been made to the damage done by last week’s severe storms and “our system is reliably delivering power to our customers.”
“We cannot guarantee that there won’t be outages, but our crews are ready to address any issues that might come up,” the statement reads.
Starting Tuesday, temperatures are forecasted to be in the 90s every day through Sunday, with the exception of high 80s on Thursday.
Last week, storms late Monday and early Tuesday damaged the transmission system which delivered power to the Columbus area, AEP said, forcing the company to shut off power to thousands of customers in order to avoid an overload of the damaged system due to an increase in usage because of the high temperatures.
“With several large transmission lines out of service, other lines trying to bring power into Columbus area became overloaded,” AEP’s statement reads. “Power had to be immediately taken off the overloaded transmission lines to prevent catastrophic failure of the system and severe damage that would require weeks to repair.”
Last week, AEP has said the outages were intentional and at the order of its regional overseer, PJM Interconnection, in order to protect the power grid. It also ruled out shifting the blackouts around to different customers as an option, because there weren’t enough working transmission lines after the storm.
Several Columbus residents, lawmakers, and consumer groups have pressed the power company about the outages, including how areas that had their power cut off were selected.
AEP’s full statement released Monday is below:
After what happened last week, we understand that customers are very concerned about the potential for power outages during the hot weather expected this week. Our transmission grid is planned, designed and built with redundancy and hardening to handle extreme temperatures.
A unique set of circumstances led to the emergency forced outages last week. 75+ mph winds damaged the transmission system delivering power into the Columbus area. With several large transmission lines out of service, other lines trying to bring power into Columbus area became overloaded. Power had to be immediately taken off the overloaded transmission lines to prevent catastrophic failure of the system and severe damage that would require weeks to repair.
Repairs have been made to the damage caused by last week’s Derecho storm, and our system is reliably delivering power to our customers. We cannot guarantee that there won’t be outages, but our crews are ready to address any issues that might come up.
Our teams and our partners at PJM are constantly monitoring the grid conditions, and we will do everything we can to keep power flowing during the hot weather this week.
We know our customers depend on us, and we are committed to providing reliable service. We will do our best to alert customers to any grid conditions that might require them to take conservation actions or experience service disruptions,if possible. But some situations require immediate actions to protect the overall system.