Iowans Warned About “Rolling Blackouts” This Summer
Demand could exceed supply when it comes to energy this summer, and therefore experts are warning residents in Iowa and 14 other states to expect "rolling blackouts".
It feels like we've barely had a taste of spring in the Hawkeye state and now, here comes summer. According to the Des Moines Register, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says we are in for "above average" temperatures this summer, meaning our air conditioners could be getting used A LOT.
Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) says the demand is expected to increase 1.7% over last summer's, while generation capacity has declined by 2.3%. They blame the nation's shift away from fossil-fueled power plants toward renewable energy.
Even if two of Iowa's largest utility companies, MidAmerican and Alliant have enough energy to meet increased demand--which they say they will--if the feds call for rolling blackouts to preserve supply, they will be prepared to comply if asked, and rolling blackouts will occur for 1-2 hours at a time for groups of customers before switching back on and "rolling" out for another group. The only exceptions would be for essential facilities like hospitals.
Before it gets to that point, it's likely utility companies would make public appeals to customers to voluntarily "load shed" as it's called, and cut their own power usage for periods of time to save energy.
Since I know you're wondering, it's unlikely these potential mandatory or voluntary rolling outages would reduce your bill by much, and while they didn't say for sure it would increase them either...who knows?