Josie Taylor | June 2, 2022
Iowans and other Midwestern residents could experience energy blackouts this summer if extreme heat and spiking demand coincide with insufficient power.
This warning was made by North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), a Georgia-based regulatory authority, and it prompted state regulators to question utilities on how they would handle controlled outages. Iowa and 14 other states are at high risk of “energy emergencies during peak summer conditions,” NERC said.
Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) told utilities whose power grid it serves, including the majority of those in Iowa, that it expects summer demand to increase 1.7% over last summer.
Iowa utility leaders told state regulators they anticipate having enough energy to meet consumer demand for electricity. If MISO calls for reducing energy use, they have plans in place to comply.
While the greatest risk of summer outages is in the Midwest, most of the western U.S. will be at moderate risk, NERC said. That forecast includes Southwest Power Pool, another grid operator that includes part of western Iowa.