Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester-based Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency is crediting its members with helping meet the huge demand for electricity during this week’s frigid weather.

SMMPA says 12 of its 18 members activated their diesel or dual-fuel units and they operated nearly nonstop for 30 hours.

SMMPA Executive Director and CEO David Geschwind says his agency received a request for extra electricity from its electric grid operator because numerous power plants that use natural gas were unable to operate due to curtailments caused by the sudden high demand for that fuel for heating purposes.

Geschwind says its members ran 43 local generators on diesel fuel to help keep the electric grid operating reliably.

“These are smaller units that generally don’t run that often, but when they do, they play an important role in contributing to both local and regional electric reliability,” said Geschwind. “Our member utilities and their employees are to be commended for being able to quickly respond to the need and working some long hours to operate these units in adverse conditions.”

Blooming Prairie, Preston, St Peter, Spring Valley, and Wells were among the members that responded.

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