When Appalachian Power has to reduce the load on its electric system in an emergency, we use “controlled outages.” PJM tells Appalachian Power and other electric utilities how much electric load we have to reduce.
In our emergency plan, Appalachian Power matches the number of circuits that add up to the amount of electricity we are required to reduce. For example, a circuit might have 500 to 1,500 customers, and Appalachian Power might need to disconnect 25 circuits. Those circuits would be in different locations around Appalachian Power’s three-state service territory. Appalachian Power would temporarily disconnect power to these circuits, and when possible, rotate to another group of circuits to limit the impact in any one location to one to two hours. It may take longer to get the power back on because of electric system issues or weather conditions.
The controlled outages should not affect critical public health and public safety facilities.
When Appalachian Power gets word from PJM that the controlled outages have reduced power enough, then the controlled outages can end.
During a longer emergency period, PJM could order additional controlled outages until the system returns to lower levels of emergency and then to normal operations.