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There might not be enough electricity to go around this summer in Michigan. That could require planned outages

High-voltage tower and cables
Creative Commons
The power grid operator for Michigan and 14 other states says there may not be enough electricity to go around this summer, especially in northern states. That increases the risk of planned power outages.

MISO, the operator of the electric grid that includes Michigan, is warning there may not be enough electricity to go around this summer, which is forecast to be warmer than usual. That could mean controlled outages as an emergency measure.

MISO says the summer peak forecast is 124 Gigawatts, with only 119 GW of regularly available generation.

The group's seasonal assessment indicates "capacity shortfalls in both the north and central regions of MISO and leaving those areas at increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the bulk electric system,” according to JT Smith, executive director – market operations at MISO.

MISO said it has never taken the step of implementing controlled outages in Michigan before.

DTE said it has extensive preparedness plans in place in the event of a "regional MISO issue."

The utility said it will be bringing its new 1,150 MW gas plant online in June, and said it has a large number of customers on voluntary interruptible rates whose service can be curtailed, if necessary, to maintain system reliability.

Consumers Energy said it is confident it has a reliable supply of energy to serve its customers, and "we will answer the call" if MISO asks utilities to take any actions on the hottest summer days.

The utility said it is prepared to ask large industrial customers to use less energy, and, if necessary, to ask all customers to voluntarily reduce energy use.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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