Regional power grid sends alert on potential energy crisis on Wednesday | national news

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(The Center Square) — It’s not quite the time for power outages, but an alert issued Tuesday by the Midcontinent Independent System Operators, which serves much of Illinois, could be the first step in the preparation of such actions.

MISO’s “peak generation alert” was issued from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday for the market footprint, which also includes Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota, most of the Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana and South Dakota, and parts of Kentucky, Missouri. , Mississippi, Montana and Texas. A similar alert was sent Monday for MISO’s southern region. The country is divided between several regional energy networks.

“The reason for the event is due to forced generation outages, higher than normal times, high congestion,” the alert notification said on Tuesday.

The announcement is only a notice and is not the elevated “warning” or “event” stage. But upcoming advisories could require electric utilities to request energy conservation or implement blackouts and blackouts.

City Water Light and Power, owned by the Municipality of Springfield, said that if “MISO improves its emergency and requests further action, up to and including load reduction, then CWLP will issue a ‘conservation alert,'” which would ask utility customers to voluntarily reduce power consumption during certain peak hours to avoid service interruptions.

Last month, CWLP chief engineer Doug Brown said such announcements prompt the utility to educate customers on how to save energy and prepare them for possible next phases.

“Blackout is definitely a last resort,” Brown told WMAY last month. “It’s something we don’t want to do, but to support the regional network, we are really required to do it.”

There are several things that cause coal-fired power plants to shut down, Brown said, adding to the energy crisis.

“When you have to invest over $50 million in these units to make them compliant with environmental regulations, that’s what happened,” Brown said. “Regulation after regulation has basically shut down coal plants and we’re starting to see those effects pretty quickly.”

Governor JB Pritzker claimed last week that the green energy law he signed in Illinois last year that forces coal-fired power plants in the state to shut down by 2045 does not is not the culprit. He said the law aims to generate more energy by investing in alternatives.

“So what we’re talking about this summer is the challenge of making sure we’re putting as much energy online as possible,” Pritzker said at a policy event. “We’re also talking about other states, surrounding states, that aren’t producing enough power.”

Here are some conservation measures that CWLP electricity customers could implement in the event of an energy emergency during peak hours and high temperatures:

  • Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;
  • Use floor or ceiling fans to cool occupied rooms;
  • Turn off lights where you don’t need them and postpone the use of major appliances, such as washing machines, dryers and dishwashers;
  • Turn off and unplug unused electronic devices such as computers, printers, photocopiers, coffee makers, televisions and chargers;
  • Shade west-facing windows in the afternoon to reduce solar heat gain.

Most of Illinois is geographically covered by MISO. The northern part of the state is covered by PJM, or the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland network. PJM has issued a “hot weather alert” for its western region through Wednesday.

“A hot weather alert helps prepare personnel and transmission and generation facilities for extreme heat and/or humidity that can cause capacity issues on the network,” the alert reads.

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