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Experts are warning that “grid failure” could come to Texas, the Midwest and western US this summer.
In an unprecedented report, the organization that assesses electricity reliability in the US says there is a “high risk” of electricity shortages.
Vice News reported:
The U.S. West and Midwest could be facing grid failure this summer, according to a Summer Reliability Assessment by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.
In its seasonal reliability assessment for the summer of 2022, the nonprofit corporation, which sets regulatory standards for U.S. grid operators, warned that the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is at “high” risk of its energy reserves falling short of its normal energy needs. MISO provides energy transmission for the Midwest, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Texas and the western U.S., meanwhile, are at “elevated risk” of seeing grid shortages should its power needs peak beyond normal volumes, according to the report.
The NAERC used this graphic to show the danger:
On the 15-state grid operated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), consumers in 11 states are at risk of outages. MISO, which serves about 42 million people, projected it has “insufficient” power generation to meet the highest demand periods this summer, especially in its Midwest states. The grid has never before given a warning of this kind ahead of the start of summer demand.
In Texas, the grid “is still at risk” of shortages despite the state’s scramble to improve resilience after a February 2021 winter storm that left millions in the dark for days, said Gary Cunningham, director of market research at brokerage Tradition Energy.
Aging infrastructure and maintenance delays during the pandemic have added to the problems of more severe weather, said Teri Viswanath, lead economist for power, energy and water at CoBank ACB.
“The US is experiencing more outages globally than any other industrialized nation,” she said. “About 70% of our grid is nearing end of life.”