There could be more rolling blackouts in Eastern Montana due to the stress on the electric grid stretching from the Canadian border down in to North Texas. Plus, a warning for Western Montana if the same type of policies continue in the Pacific Northwest.

Eastern Montana saw limited rolling blackouts on Tuesday, with the potential for more continuing into Wednesday.

As The New York Times reportsUtilities in 14 States are Told to Start Rolling Blackouts Because of Storm Strains

The Southwest Power Pool has ordered member electric utilities in 14 states to start controlled rolling cutoffs of electric service because the demand for power in the region, driven upward by the bitter cold, is overwhelming the available generation, hampered by the storm.

“This is an unprecedented event and marks the first time S.P.P. has ever had to call for controlled interruptions of service,” Lanny Nickell, the power pool’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “It’s a last resort that we understand puts a burden on our member utilities and the customers they serve, but it’s a step we’re consciously taking to prevent circumstances from getting worse.”

We spoke with Ryan Hall from the Montana Electric Cooperative's Association early Wednesday. Ryan is also the editor of the Rural Montana magazine.

Are we too reliant on unreliable power like wind and solar? Here's the full audio of our conversation with Ryan Hall:

Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-MT) happened to be in Eastern Montana when the outages occurred, and sat down with McCone Electric Cooperative General Manager Michael Hoy. Here's the video, as Hoy breaks down the reasoning for the outage:


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