Recently Jackson County REMC was made aware that there is a possibility of rolling blackouts in our region this summer. This warning was made by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (“MISO”), an independent, non-profit organization that operates the electrical grid in the middle part of the United States from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. They warned that during peak usage we may have a shortage of electricity.
Why are we telling you now? Starting June 13th there are extremely high temperatures forecasted. This means that energy usage could be above normal and potentially cause an electricity shortage. If the shortage reaches a critical stage, the grid system could collapse which is what the rolling blackouts are designed to prevent. As your electric cooperative we will do everything in our power to prevent the collapse. If we are called upon by MISO to reduce our load on the grid, we will ask for voluntary reductions first. Consider cutting back on your energy usage during peak times (typically 2-8 pm, Monday through Friday) by setting your air conditioner thermostats up a couple of degrees and putting off running dishwashers, clothes dryers, pool pumps and other non-essential electric devices during this period. If this does not reach the needed reduction, we will begin rolling blackouts.
A rolling blackout typically lasts 15-30 minutes per location before it “rolls” to the next area. We have a plan in place that our systems engineer will manage to reduce our demand on the grid. We do not know exactly when you will be affected by a rolling blackout and all members will be affected in the same way, it just may be at different times.
What can I do about this? Continue to monitor announcements from Jackson County REMC’s social media feeds, along with announcements from MISO for the most up-to-date information. If you have a medical condition that requires electricity, make sure you have a backup plan in the event of a large-scale blackout event.
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