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Blackouts Hit 13 States Beyond Texas in Deepening Power Crisis

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 2/15/2021 Lynn Doan
a building covered in snow: A person walks by the Parthenon in Centennial Park as freezing rain falls on February 15, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. © Photographer: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images A person walks by the Parthenon in Centennial Park as freezing rain falls on February 15, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Bloomberg) -- Southwest Power Pool, which controls a power grid spanning 14 states from North Dakota to Oklahoma, has declared an energy emergency and is ordering utilities to start rolling blackouts amid an extreme cold blast that has already taken down parts of Texas’s grid.

The power system operator said in a statement that this is the first time it has ever had to order rolling outages and that it had exhausted all other options for protecting the grid. “It’s a last resort,” the agency said. “It’s a step we’re consciously taking to prevent circumstances from getting worse, which could result in uncontrolled outages of even greater magnitude.”

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