Waverly Utilities (WU) was called upon to self-generate electricity over a 24-hour timespan between February 16th and 17th to help southern states experiencing rolling blackouts caused by extreme cold weather conditions.
Because these weather conditions are uncommon in the southern states, generation infrastructure was not built to withstand subzero temperatures causing natural gas wells to freeze. This resulted in inadequate electric production to cover the rapidly increasing demand for electric power to heat homes and businesses. This electric shortage was exasperated by lower than anticipated renewable electricity being produced due to these similar infrastructures failures caused by extreme cold weather.
Waverly Utilities maintains 36 Megawatts of dual fuel (diesel and natural gas) generators, enough electricity to power the city of Waverly. WU CEO, Darrel Wenzel stated, “WU customers were never in jeopardy of experiencing rolling blackouts. With our self-generating ability, as long as fuel is available, we can isolate the community from grid reliability issues that we witnessed happen in the southern states”.