The Chamber hosts region leaders at Midwest Energy Summit

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce hosts its first regional event with the Midwest Energy Summit.

Back in February a freeze in the southern part of the country left nearly three million households in Texas without power, forcing parts of North Dakota to run rolling blackouts to help save the power grid.

“Texas is an island electrically and you never want to be on an island in the electricity business. You want to be as connected in as many directions as you can possibly go and have that reach in other ways,” MISO North External Affairs Executive Director Brian Tulloh said.

“On the MISO side, the Southwest Power Pool had rolling blackouts because they didn’t have enough power to serve their customer base. So, our customers in North Dakota lost it and that’s the downside of being interconnected,” North Dakota Public Service Commission Chair Julie Fedorchak said.

Fedorchak says energy leaders in the Midwest must work together to ensure the power outage crisis does not happen again.

“In the last legislative session there was an important measure passed in integrative resource planning that give the public service commission the authority to overlook the plans of Xcel Energy, Otter Tail Power, MDU to see whether we think that they’re putting enough investment into the right energy mix to make sure that the energy is available to dispatch when it’s needed,” said Fedorchak.

President of Xcel Energy for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota Chris Clark says there have been energy implementations to ensure grid stability and reliability.

“If the grid does go down one of the things we use to recover it is called Black Start and that’s making sure that we have the units to be able to bring the grid back up if we were ever able to find ourselves in that situation,” Clark said.

Clark also addresses future plans for Xcel Energy to be more green by the next decade.

“We have put dates for closure on all of our coal plants, we’ve embraced renewable energy and we’ve made a commitment to hit carbon free by 2030,” said Clark.

Clark adds it’s good to continue in the dialogue of chasing new technologies that will keep reliability towards the future.

Categories: Business, Minnesota News, North Dakota News