Keeping the Lights on During a Polar Vortex
With STERN’s help, our Jones Street Station was able to provide service to more than 101,000 homes … keeping the lights on and the furnaces running to keep people warm.
Record-Setting Polar Vortex Hits the U.S.
After what had been a dreary, long winter, spring seemed to be close on the horizon. No one would expect what Father Winter had in store for the country. The citizens in the most northern states of the Union prepare for the gruesome winter months; readying generators, filling gas cans, and prepping winter emergency kits, all yearly rituals for many. However, what many cannot prepare for is a record-setting Arctic weather pattern, a Polar Vortex.
It was the second week of February when the threat of historically low temperatures in the Midwest, Southern Plains, and the Gulf was beginning to look like a reality. Omaha Public Power District, OPPD, of Omaha, Nebraska, had started to prepare for what was going to be an exhausting 12 days. Using a diverse portfolio of low-sulfur coal, wind, landfill gas, natural gas and fuel oil, solar, and hydroelectric sources, OPPD provides energy services to 855,000 people in 13 counties. As OPPD’s generation was working as planned, the lack of wind and limited gas supply across the region caused them to realize they were going to need to use other sources of energy to meet customer demand.
Keeping the Lights on
On February 12th, OPPD reached out to STERN looking for assistance in meeting that demand. STERN mobilized their transportation specialists from across their territory. Drivers came from Box Elder, Aberdeen, and Freeman, South Dakota to provide deliveries in all capacities, giving STERN the opportunity to deliver fuel oil around the clock in two shifts, day and night!
“STERN drivers worked through the freezing cold days and nights delivering truckload after truckload of fuel oil to keep our units online. With STERN’s help, our Jones Street Station was able to provide service to more than 101,000 homes … keeping the lights on and the furnaces running to keep people warm”, OPPD stated.
More than 360,000 gallons of fuel were delivered in just three days. The gallons included STERN’s diesel additives which OPPD requested be added to each fuel gallon to maximize its use.
“[We are] so proud of the work that STERN’s workers did for us during this unprecedented time! Due to the high demand for fuel oil by other utilities and businesses, knowing we could rely on STERN to provide supply during this period was a huge factor in OPPD being able to avoid major blackouts during a time when energy was needed the most!” OPPD officials stated.