Study Says Michigan Residents Could be in For Rolling Power Outages This Summer
A new report indicates that consumers and DTE Energy customers in Michigan could face energy shortages in July and August of this year.
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According to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISD), a nonprofit organization responsible for overseeing our power grid, Michigan is moving away from coal and thermal powered electricity production, relying more heavily on wind and solar power.
Clair Moeller is the president and COO of MISD. She says that an insufficient infrastructure could lead to brownouts or outages when energy use is at its peak.
“The reality for the zones that do not have sufficient generation to cover their load, plus their required reserves, is that they will have increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to maintain system reliability,” Moeller said. “From a consumer perspective, those zones may also face higher costs to procure power when it is scarce.”
New Generators May Not Keep Up With Increased Demand
Gary Cunningham is an analyst with Tradition Energy. In the video below, he tells WDIV-TV that as old coal power generators are being decommissioned, new ones may not be able to keep up with demand.
“This time we’ve had even more retirements of old generators, and we’re not building enough new ones," Cunninghame says. "The ones that we are building, to be candid, the intermittent wind and solar, are not always there when we need them.”
He goes on to say that your current Consumers Energy or DTE Energy bill may include a 'capacity charge' that could currently be $1. As the weather warms up and power demands increase, that charge could increase to $5 or even $10 per month.
Officials with DTE Energy and Consumers Energy have issued statements saying both companies will have sufficient power to meet customer demands this summer.