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How Arkansas crews prepare for potential outages as temperatures rise

As temperatures rise in Arkansas, there could be energy issues both here and in other states, but Entergy Arkansas said they're prepared for that possibility.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — While that warm weather continues, it may cause a few issues for the electricity that keeps us cool.

A recent study shows that Arkansas, along with other states, could possibly face a power shortage this summer.

The power grid that actually supplies Arkansas is under the high risk category and it's coming at a time when our temperatures could reach new heights this season. 

Entergy Arkansas Communications Specialist, Brandi Hinkle, said they're prepared though.

"We don't really have any fears of having widespread or long term outages," she said.

As the days get hotter in the Natural State, the last thing anyone wants is a lack of air conditioning, but Hinkle said there's no reason to panic. 

"We try to over prepare, but we don't really expect that we're going to have any issues with too much demand this summer here in Arkansas," she said.

Basically, Hinkle believes Arkansas is in a unique position because we have a surplus of generation capacity, even though we share our power grid with 14 other states.

"It's because we're interconnected to some of those other areas. They may have the potential for what we might call blackouts, but here in Arkansas we really don't see a need for that," she said.

According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation report, part of the worry comes from tornado damage back in December, but Hinkle said the crazy weather we've had over the past several years has changed some of Entergy's processes.

"We have taken some steps, as have some of our other partners in the MISO footprint, so that we're better prepared in case we reach those really, really cold temperatures and those really, really hot temperatures, as well," she said.

There are some things you can do at home to help the grid. 

According to Hinkle, adjusting your thermostat up a degree or two makes a big difference during the summer. 

Also, she said try not to load the dishwasher or do a load of laundry during peak hours when everyone else is using that same power. 

"We ask you to just kind of think about some of your usage. It's better for you, for your costs, it's better for us when it comes to energy efficiency and we hopefully will make it through this summer without having any of those power outages as a result of too much demand on the grid," Hinkle said.

You can actually keep an eye on your energy usage through the Entergy app. 

As for your thermostat, Hinkle said the sweet spot for the summer is around 72 degrees. 

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