December's Winter Storm Elliott tested the limits of power grids across the US. It produced double-digit sub-zero temperatures, high winds, and precipitation producing blizzard warnings and power outages impacting millions of people. Western Iowa felt the impact of Winter Storm Elliott as these conditions hung over the region for several days, including those leading up to the Christmas holiday. With families gathering to celebrate, water heating, appliances used for holiday baking, and keeping up with laundry, coupled with record levels of home heating, pushed electric consumption in the NIPCO service territory to all-time highs. While NIPCO's regional transmission organization, SPP, initiated energy alert advisories and low-level warnings, SPP was able to meet the power demands and maintain the reliability of power throughout the NIPCO system.
NIPCO set a new all-time record peak of 269.36 MW (megawatts) at 5:30 pm on December 22, 2022. This value represents a 12.97 MW (5%) increase from the previous peak, recorded on February 16, 2021, of 256.39 MW during Winter Storm Uri. Meeting the power demands of members in western Iowa during Elliott's wrath is a testament to the resiliency of NIPCO's upgraded infrastructure, the reliability of a diverse power supply, and the capacity of available generation resources in the SPP footprint.
As the winter months continue, predictions are for colder-than-average temperatures to impact NIPCO's territory. Rest assured, reliability is paramount to NIPCO, and we work hard to provide our members with safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.