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Subject Parts of Our Nation's Electric Grid Could Experience Blackouts This Summer in Several Large Regions
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Due to excessive, extreme heat and drought

"A chunk of the U.S., from California to Texas to the Midwest, is at risk of blackouts and unreliable power supply this summer as extreme heat and drought impact the electric grid, a major regulator said Wednesday.

In an annual assessment of grid conditions, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a nonprofit organization that monitors the nation’s electric grids, said that the grid serving much of the Midwest is at “high risk” for energy emergencies this summer. Meanwhile, electric grids that bring power to the West and Texas could also see serious problems.

“It’s a pretty sobering report, and it’s clear the risks are spreading,” John Moura, a director at NERC, told reporters in a press briefing. “I certainly do think it’s our most cautionary tale here.”

A lot of the most serious trouble is going to be in a middle region of the country that gets their power delivered from what’s known as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which operates the grid in 15 states and parts of Canada. Baseline power demand in this region is back up since the pandemic, the assessment finds, but extreme temperatures could jack up that demand even further, creating “high risk of energy emergencies during peak summer conditions.” Some nuclear, gas, and coal plants belonging to another grid operator in the region, the Southwest Power Pool, use the Missouri River to cool down their generators. Drought conditions in the Missouri River Basin, the assessment found, could affect output from those power plants as well."

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