MISO Warns of Possible Planned Power Outages
[Last Updated: 6/3/2022 9:55:01 AM]



Friday, June 3, 2022

Contact:     Kelli Schroeder, Manager of HR & Communications, 231-932-4545, kschroeder@tclp.org



Traverse City, Michigan - The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO), the organization which oversees electricity transmission to Traverse City and a region spanning over 15 states warned utilities within its footprint of the possibility of power shortages this summer during times of peak demand (high energy usage).

During these times, portions of MISO’s system may experience heightened risk for necessary “load shedding,” also referred to as rolling brownouts. Load (customer energy usage) shedding is a controlled, temporary power outage to prevent wider system failure during high usage times when customer demand exceeds the available capacity of the system. All affected utilities share load shedding responsibilities proportionally so that no areas lose power entirely.

“We are prepared and have been prepared for the possibility of load shedding events as directed by MISO,” said Executive Director Brandie Ekren. “All utilities in Michigan will be affected by this capacity issue and as much as it is within our control, we hope to minimize any potential disruption to our valued customers.”

The current capacity strain stems from increased power demands and fewer available power generation facilities resulting from plant retirements. MISO reported in January that “…many thermal resources have recently retired from service due to economic, regulatory, and environmental pressures, and the aging thermal assets that remain in service may be more prone to unplanned outages and face supply chain issues.”

Times of peak system use have historically occurred during summer stretches of high temperatures that may continue for several days at a time. For example, three or more consecutive days of 90+ degree weather increases the demand for power to keep pace with the increased use of air conditioning.

In the event that MISO orders load shedding, TCL&P, and other impacted utilities will have already asked for voluntary reductions of customer power use through turning off unnecessary electronics or lights and limiting air conditioning use by increasing the thermostat a few degrees. Voluntary efforts will continue over the extended time of the emergency. Rolling outages would not last longer than an hour per circuit, with other portions of the service area then sharing the responsibility until the load is reduced to within generation capacity.

“Our top priority will be customer communication as soon as possible in the process to lessen the impacts of the disruption,” said Ekren. “These simple steps, when we all follow them, can make a world of difference. TCL&P is confident we will come through this together.”

TCL&P is working to ensure critical services are uninterrupted during temporary or sustained power outages. Critical care customers who depend on electricity for oxygen or other life-sustaining medical equipment should contact TCL&P if they have not already done so previously.  


Traverse City Light & Power (www.tclp.org) is a community-owned, community-focused municipal utility that offers reliable energy at low rates in the region to over 12,700 customers in Traverse City, and parts of East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield and Peninsula townships. Now offering TCLPfiber, an all-fiber, gigabit internet service.

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