(NEXSTAR) — Large swathes of the United States could experience power outages this summer, according to the annual assessment from the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC).
The report, which forecasts the readiness of power grids that power air conditioners, medical devices, lights and other vital resources, found that nearly two-thirds of the country is at “increased risk” of power loss.
These regions include the entire continental United States from Texas to the West Coast, along with large portions of the Midwest and New England.
Despite the broad areas the nonprofit has pointed out, there is some positive news. Contrary to last year’s report, there are no “high-risk” areas where normal peak conditions could maximize operating reserves. in 2022The NERC map showed many states under the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) system, such as Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, either in whole or in part.
Mark Olson, director of reliability ratings at NERC, said: statement. “However, generator outages continue to increase risks associated with extreme summer temperatures, leading to potential supply shortages in the western two-thirds of North America if summer temperatures rise.”
This year’s analysis shows that networks should be able to operate under normal summer weather, but extreme weather events such as the deadly 2021 “heat dome”a period of record temperatures that caught most of the western United States, can cripple grids from the Pacific Northwest and Sun Belt to Texas, according to energy and environment publication E&E News.
“The system is closer to the edge. John Mora, director of reliability and performance analysis at NERC, told reporters on Wednesday.
Using past data on Americans’ summer energy use and temperature history, the NERC estimates there is a 1 in 10 chance of extreme conditions this summer, according to E&E.
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