Extreme heat to test U.S. Midwest power grid this week

A newly installed pole for transmission lines for the New England Clean Energy Connect project (also known as the Clean Energy Corridor), which will bring hydroelectric power to the New England power grid, stands next to the existing power lines in Moscow, Maine, U.S. October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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June 21 (Reuters) – The central U.S. electric grid operator said on Tuesday it had begun taking steps to ensure utilities were ready to keep the lights on as consumers surged their air conditioners during an extreme heat wave this week. .

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) said in a statement that it had asked the utilities to delay any discretionary maintenance of equipment and to prepare emergency resources.

MISO operates the network for some 42 million people in 15 central US states, from Minnesota to Louisiana and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

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MISO, which previously warned this summer of potential capacity shortfalls and other reliability issues in parts of its region, said it would take further emergency measures, if necessary, to maintain reliability. Read more

These include, but are not limited to, emergency pricing, emergency power purchases, and calling on emergency generation resource reserves only, MISO said.

“Use of emergency operating procedures is typical in harsh network conditions,” MISO Executive Director – System Operations Jessica Lucas said in the release.

In the past, MISO has said that MISO’s northern and central regions are at “an increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the bulk power system.” Read more

AccuWeather forecast high temperatures in Indianapolis, a major city in MISO, to hit 96 Fahrenheit (35.6 Celsius) on Tuesday and Wednesday before dropping back down to around 90 F by the weekend. The normal high is around 86 F at this time of year.

MISO said electricity demand hit a year-to-date high of 118 gigawatts (GW) last week and expected usage on Tuesday will reach 122 GW. The network reached its historical peak of 127 GW in July 2011.

One gigawatt can power about a million average US homes, but as few as 200,000 on a hot summer day.

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Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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