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Unplanned power outages may continue in South Dakota

Date: Feb 16, 2021

TYPE: News

Sioux Falls, SD. – Feb. 16, 2021 – The energy emergency in the Midwest means unplanned power outages may continue for South Dakotans.

“Record energy demand due to the extreme, widespread cold temperatures in the region are forcing extraordinary measures to keep the energy grid stable,” said NorthWestern Energy President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Bird. “NorthWestern Energy and other energy companies in the region are working closely with the Southwest Power Pool, the entity that manages overall grid stability, to monitor the situation and take the actions that are needed.”

Those actions may include unplanned outages. Customers may experience power outages if rolling blackouts are implemented to reduce demand. High demand for energy is forecast to continue in the region at least through the afternoon hours of Wednesday, Feb. 17.

NorthWestern Energy and other South Dakota energy providers were directed to reduce demand by dropping some load beginning early in the morning today, Feb. 16. Some customers experienced unplanned power outages as rolling blackouts were implemented to reduce demand by about 10% to keep the energy grid stable.

“South Dakotans have responded to the call to conserve energy to help reduce demand and we thank all of you for doing your part,” Bird said. “We are asking you to continue and appreciate your patience as we get through this together.”

NorthWestern Energy is working to put as much energy generation online as possible to help meet this historical peak energy demand, said NorthWestern Energy Director of Long Term Resources Bleau LaFave.

“NorthWestern Energy is part of a large, integrated market and we are working together to manage this emergency situation, keep the grid stable and continue to provide our customers with safe, reliable energy” said LaFave.

NorthWestern Energy is asking customers to continue conserving energy. Find tips at northwesternenergy.com.

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About NorthWestern Energy (Nasdaq: NWE)
NorthWestern provides electricity and / or natural gas to approximately 743,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. We have generated and distributed electricity in South Dakota and distributed natural gas in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and have generated and distributed electricity and distributed natural gas in Montana since 2002. More information on NorthWestern is available on the company’s website at www.northwesternenergy.com.

Media Contacts:
Jo Dee Black
866-622-8081
jodee.black@northwestern.com