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MRO Hosts Second Annual Cold Weather Preparedness Workshop

MRO’s Reliability Advisory Council (RAC) hosted its annual Cold Weather Preparedness Workshop on October 12, 2022.

This is the second year the RAC hosted this virtual webinar, and it was very well attended with over 300 participants. RAC member CJ Brown with Southwest Power Pool gave the welcome address and introduced the speakers, with the first topic being a recap of the response to an April snow storm in North Dakota. Jacob Zettel with Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) discussed the difficult working conditions the utility faced during that event, as well as the unique resources it relied upon to restore service. 

The next speaker was Thomas Whynot with Manitoba Hydro, who provided a Canadian perspective on Cold Weather Preparedness along with challenges the utility faces having a large footprint in a classified subarctic climate. Whynot also reviewed river ice management and the dangerous conditions that ice accumulation on transmission lines can create and the ice melting methods to mitigate the failure of transmission lines during these extreme conditions.

Matthew Harward with Southwest Power Pool completed the webinar with an update on the NERC Extreme Cold Weather project. This project is split into two phases with a number of recommendations from the 2021 Joint Inquiry Report that will eventually map to enforceable standards. Harward went into detail on the impacted standards for phase 1 and some of the newly-defined terms. He is the vice chair of the project Standard Drafting Team and has been a key contributor to the progress that has been made. Below is a link to the recording as well as the presentations from the webinar.

Cold Weather Preparedness Workshop – Midwest Reliability Organization (

About the Author:

Bryn Wilson is the Senior Manager of Grid Operations for Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E). He has over 30 years of experience in the electric power industry, including 13 years in generation and 15 years in transmission operations. Bryn’s prior experience includes an 11-year tenure with Texas Utilities/TXU and a 6-year tenure with General Electric. He received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Bryn’s current responsibilities at OG&E include managing the Transmission and Distribution Operations control centers and the Operations Support Engineering groups. He currently serves on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Operations Reliability Working Group (ORWG), the SPP Improved Resource Availability Task Force (IRATF), and the MRO Reliability Advisory Council (RAC). He also served as Vice Chair of the SPP Balancing Authority Operating Committee. Bryn is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.