West and Midwest at Risk of Summer Blackouts

Insufficient operating reserves for peak demands. 

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), is warning that electricity customers across the nation face a heightened risk of power outages this summer. NERC is a regulatory body that oversees grid operations across the U.S. and Canada. They and other regulators are forecasting a worsening outlook for a grid simultaneously struggling through extreme weather conditions and a shift away from traditional energy sources. 

Their summer reliability assessment published this week says the entire West and most of the Midwest face at least an “elevated” risk of experiencing insufficient electricity supply where slim reserve margins run up against high demand. For the sections of the grid stretching from Wisconsin down to the Gulf Coast, NERC deemed the risk of insufficient operating reserves to be “high” during peak demand conditions. 

Sectors from Minnesota and Iowa all the way down to Louisiana face an especially “high risk of energy emergencies during peak summer conditions,“ according to NERC. Extended drought and extreme heat are forecast for sectors from California to Texas, driving up demand and straining supplies. Heightened wildfire risks also threaten the West where utilities may be forced to shut off power and where smoke could limit the amount of sunlight hitting solar panels, threatening their output. 

Government green energy programs, climate change, power plant shutdowns, and supply chain issues also strain the electric grid. Power grids also face a growing threat of cyber-attacks because of U.S. support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion, according to NERC. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • That the president’s administration would seek God’s wisdom on how to effectively address the power needs of the nation.
  • For Energy Department officials as they pursue avenues to support the country’s power grid. 
  • For protection for those in the areas most affected by the summer heat.

Sources: Washington Examiner, Bloomberg


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