Balancing the demand for electricity with just-in-time supply (currently, electricity can’t be stored in meaningful amounts) and then transmitting the electricity over an expansive grid of transmission and distribution lines make the U.S. electric grid the most complex machine in our nation’s history.
As an industry, we are currently impacted by a number of domestic and international economic challenges. These challenges follow the national trend over the past several years of retiring coal generation and transitioning to more intermittent, renewable resources.
So far, the pace of generation additions hasn’t kept pace with the retirements of dispatchable resources they will replace. As a result, we want everyone to be increasingly more aware of the possibility of requests to reduce electricity usage.
If the supply/demand problem becomes too great, our regional grid operator will order short-duration rolling blackouts to preserve the operational integrity of the grid and reduce the risk of prolonged and widespread power outages.
Generation reserves are typically available for unexpected events that impact the balance of supply and demand on the system, but they aren’t as large as they once were. This situation increases the possibility for reductions in electricity more frequently to prevent large-scale power outages.
Harrison REMC will convey messages and requests for you to consume less energy during times when demand is high, and supply is constrained. We ask you to turn off any unnecessary lights, appliances, etc. Use the delayed start functions on appliances to move laundry and dishwashing to a later time in the day. Setting your thermostat slightly higher this summer will also help.
We are working hard to make sure members are informed when these issues exist. We will continue to send messages and post on social media when these things happen.
Again, please be prepared for the possibility of outages. Should the situation dictate, power could be intentionally disconnected for periods of time to preserve integrity of the entire grid.