100 Degree Heat & Rolling Blackouts In North Dakota? You Betcha!
Can you imagine not having your air conditioner during a 100-degree heatwave?
As we prepare for a heatwave this weekend with high temperatures near or above 100 degrees Saturday through Sunday, just imagine if your power was interrupted? Well, that is a distinct possibility for North Dakotans according to a Facebook post from Harrison REMC.
You better hope for a lot of windy days coming up.
Not only is this a possibility but it's considered likely over the course of the entire summer for much of North Dakota. Why? Well, you can thank the current administration and the national trend of retiring coal and transitioning to more intermittent, renewable resources (wind, solar, etc). So far, the pace of renewable resources hasn't kept pace with the resources they are replacing. As a result, we should be aware of the possibility of requests to reduce electricity usage.
This warning was made by Midcontinent Independent System Operator who is an independent, non-profit organization that is in charge of the electrical grid that controls North Dakota. In fact, they operate the grid that runs from Manitoba all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. They warned that during peak usage, (such as 100-degree days) we may have a shortage of electricity.
Here's how the rolling blackouts will work.
If our local power companies are called upon by Midcontinent Independent System Operator to reduce power, they will ask for voluntary reductions first. Things like cutting back on your energy usage during peak times which is typically 2-8 pm Monday through Friday (Turning down air conditioners, not running dishwashers, clothes dryers, and other non-essential electric devices during this period). If this doesn't reach the needed reduction, our local companies will begin rolling blackouts.
I spoke with one of our local power companies and they told me that rolling blackouts for Bismarck Mandan are not certain by any means. Let's hope the AC stays on this summer.
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