Millions of Americans across the Midwest, Southwest and West are expected to face blackouts throughout the summer months, an industry analysis concluded.
A variety of factors, including drought conditions and low wind conditions, are expected to put Americans in roughly 28 states at risk of experiencing blackouts this summer, according to a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a U.S. regulatory authority, published Wednesday.
The region managed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) across 15 Midwest states is at the highest risk of “energy emergencies” during the summer due to capacity shortfalls, the analysis showed.
“The Western Interconnection, Texas, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) … are at ‘elevated risk’ of energy emergencies during extreme conditions,” NERC added. “[MISO] is in the ‘high risk’ category, facing capacity shortfalls in its north and central areas during both normal and extreme conditions due to generator retirements and increased demand.”
The Midwest’s “high risk” rating means its resources are “potentially insufficient” to meet peak load amid both normal and extreme conditions, NERC stated in an accompanying release. While extreme temperatures and low wind output levels are expected to play a role in potential Midwest blackouts, the region’s 2.3% year-over-year decline in capacity is projected to have an even larger impact.