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Michigan could see controlled power outages this summer

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator is preparing for a projected shortfall in energy capacity for June, July and August.
Electricity meter, file photo.

MICHIGAN, USA — The regional power grid operator that encompasses Michigan is projecting energy capacity shortfalls during summer months.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) released its Seasonal Readiness Report for the summer of 2022 and noted possible energy capacity shortfalls in June, July and August.

“The seasonal assessment aligns with the cleared resources identified in the 2022-2023 Planning Resource Auction, which indicated capacity shortfalls in both the north and central regions of MISO and leaving those areas at increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the bulk electric system,” said JT Smith, executive director – market operations at MISO.

Michigan falls in the central region of MISO's coverage, which also includes Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri.

MISO is projecting that typical peak energy demand for the summer months of June, July and August will fall short of the power grid's capacity.

Credit: MISO
MISO 2022 Summer projections of energy capacity and usage.

In June, it is predicted that the available capacity will be 116 GW, which would just barely meet peak load demand.

In July, the available capacity of 119 GW will fall about 5 GW short of the predicted peak demand of 124 GW.

And in August, the estimated peak demand of 121 GW will again fall short of the available capacity of 119 GW.

MISO is warning that controlled brownouts in Midwestern states may be necessary to maintain the overall grid's reliability during months where peak energy demand is greater than the available capacity.

“We closely monitor the many challenges the summer season can bring and coordinate with our members and other grid operators for situational awareness,” said Jessica Lucas, MISO’s executive director – system operations. “Our members provide us with the details to determine our operational needs and we anticipate tight operating conditions this summer based on their insights.”

The expected increase in energy demand is in part due to the forecast of above normal temperatures across most of the United States, which corresponds to increased energy usage.

Because of the shortfalls in energy capacity, MISO is planning to use emergency resources and energy imports to meet demand and maintain system reliability.

Consumer's Energy is confident that it will be able to supply energy to its West Michigan customers this summer.

"Consumers Energy has prepared for this summer, and we are confident we have a reliable supply of energy to serve our customers. MISO is looking at its entire 15-state footprint, and we will answer the call if they ask us and other energy providers to take any actions on the hottest summer days. That includes ensuring our power plants are running at full capacity and being ready to ask large industrial customers to use less energy. If necessary, that also includes asking all customers to voluntarily reduce energy use – which has not happened in a decade. We trust MISO to assess how energy resources across the entire region compare to past years."

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