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Connection between Arkansas power grid and other cities in the US

The heat and humidity we've been dealing with can put a strain on our power system, but it's not just Arkansas who is on that power grid.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The dog days of summer have arrived, and the heat has been suffocating.

"Unfortunately there's a heat wave that's pretty much reaching across the country," Brandi Hinkle, spokesperson for Entergy Arkansas, said.

Hinkle knows the strain the heat and humidity can put on our power system, but she said it's not just Arkansas who is on that power grid.

"Within your community, within cities and towns, across the state, it's all one grid," Hinkle said. "Even though there are different power providers within that footprint."

Much of Arkansas is on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, grid. The grid extends all the way up through the Midwest and all the way to the Canadian border.

What happens to them all the way up there can actually affect us down here as well.

"It's just to ensure that we have enough power to supply the demand so that we can use power from other generators if we need to, other power companies," Hinkle said.

The North and Central regions of MISO have been under an alert because of hot weather up there, which something we've been much better at dealing with here in the South.

In a statement, MISO officials said that this is typical during challenging grid conditions. Hinkle also agreed with that statement. 

"We are absolutely not in panic mode," she said. "Again, we prepare for this kind of thing."

Entergy isn't alone in that. At Benton Utilities, General Manager David Vondran said they constantly monitor conditions in case MISO asks them to conserve power.

Some of the ways to conserve power, include raising your thermostat a couple degrees, turning off lights that aren't in use and unplugging unnecessary appliances.

Doing those may be a slight annoyance, but they can help keep the lights on for everybody, whether they're in Arkansas or not.

"So the best way we can do that, again, is ask our customers to just be mindful of how much power they're using," Hinkle said. "So that we don't create too much demand on the grid."

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