You may have heard about the possibility of rolling blackouts this summer. We thought we would break down the issue and offer some insights on what be coming our way.
The national and regional reliability entities (the North American Electric Reliability Corporation - NERC, and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator - MISO) identified the possibility of rolling blackouts to maintain system integrity and reliability on the larger transmission grid this summer. In recent years, the retirement of fossil fired generation capacity (mainly coal fired power plants) partially offset by the addition of renewable resources such as wind and solar, have changed the generation resource mix, resulting in a reduced amount of excess or reserve capacity, and a reduced number of available rotating generation machines. Simply put, there are fewer power plants available to start generating power at a moments notice than there used to be.
Overall though, the chance for rolling blackouts for 2022 is not zero, but just slightly above. It would take a combination of extended hot weather, generation resource outages, and transmission system issues for rolling blackouts to occur.
Although we don't think it's going to happen, we're following this situation closely and will be ready to notify members if we get advance warning of any pending rolling blackouts.