2021 Winter Storm Review

In February 2021, SPP experienced the greatest operational challenge in its 80-year history. Due to record-low temperatures and record-high electricity use, overall bulk electric system reliability was severely tested. SPP kept the lights on across its region with two short exceptions (approximately four hours).

In March 2021, the board directed a comprehensive review of the event to identify how SPP can better prepare for future extreme reliability threats. Five teams and several hundred stakeholders conducted in-depth analysis and published “A Comprehensive Review of SPP’s response to the February 2021 Winter Storm.”

The report recommends 22 actions, policy changes and assessments related to fuel assurance, resource planning/availability, emergency response and other critical areas.

The board accepted the report, directed work to immediately begin on recommendations that address root causes, and requested additional analysis to explain the failure of natural gas supply. Staff were instructed to prioritize work on the remaining recommendations, provide a project plan and quarterly progress updates, and issue letters to generator operators in the SPP region requiring them to inform SPP about their plans to assure generation availability for the upcoming winter.

The report, the board presentation and a summary document are available under Related Documents on this page.

Please see the Improved Resource Availability Task Force page for updates on Tier 1 recommendations related to fuel assurance and resource performance and availability. The Comprehensive Roadmap incorporates all recommendations and related initiatives.