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Power grid coordinator issues overnight advisory due to solar storm

Winter Weather Texas Power Failures eletrical grid
Posted at 4:38 PM, May 10, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Southwest Power Pool issued an advisory Friday overnight into Saturday morning due to the upcoming geomagnetic storm.

A conservative operations advisory went into effect 2:30 p.m. Friday and is set to run until 6 a.m. Saturday due to the forecast of “severe to extreme geomagnetic activity (also known as solar storms) with G4 conditions observed and G5 threshold possible.”

The geomagnetic storm scale was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center to help communicate concerns caused by space weather. The scale ranges from G1, or minor, to to G5, described as extreme.

Geomagnetic storms rated G5 has the potential to cause widespread voltage control and protective system problems.

Consumers don’t have to take any action as part of the advisory, which is more geared toward raising awareness to organizations that operate transmission or power generation facilities.

The advisory includes SPP’s entire balancing authority, which includes the Kansas City area’s largest utility providers including Evergy, the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City, Kansas, and Independence Power and Light. The SPP balances power generation and load in real time.

While geomagnetic storms can cause impacts to infrastructure, they also help generate Northern Lights.