Winter Storm Elliott packed a punch in December, but Hoosier Energy’s 18 member cooperatives stood strong and experienced minimal disruptions.


The system absorbed a record-setting blow as temperatures dropped nearly 50 degrees in a span of 12 hours on Dec. 22 with two-to-three inches of snow across the service territory.


Overall, the average system temperature for Dec. 22-23 was negative four degrees with heavy wind. With a maximum sustained wind speed of 36 miles per hour and gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour, every aspect of generation and transmission was being monitored.


Along the way, Hoosier Energy set an all-time system peak of 1,828 megawatts, which was also coincident with the Midwest Independent System Operators (MISO) peak. That peak, which broke the previous record of 1,714 MW set in January of 2019, came in the hour ending at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23.


MISO did issue a “Maximum Generation Emergency Warning” to let power plant operators know that the supply of electricity on the grid was getting tight on Dec. 23 at 5:06 p.m., requiring all units to be on standby and ready if called upon.


Natural gas was flowing and available at Hoosier Energy’s Holland Energy Plant in Illinois but was not called upon. The Worthington Generating Station was also forced on during the event on Dec. 23 with other units on standby as Elliott gave the utility industry a standing eight-count.


There was also a call for load management procedures with 16 of 18 cooperatives participating in the Hoosier Energy Emergency Capacity Portal, but by 9 p.m. that night the Max Gen warning was terminated.


Hoosier Energy-owned assets saw no reliability issues with a limited number of interruptions at delivery points. Ongoing preparation and collaboration have prepared Hoosier and its member cooperatives well for these bouts and others in the future.