Lansing BWL preps for rolling blackouts

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) is getting ready for blackouts that could occur this summer due to energy shortages.

The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) is the regional regulator that oversees the power grid for a portion of 15 states, including Michigan.

MISO has warned of possible energy shortages during times of peak demand, especially when the weather gets hot, resulting in “load sheds,” or rolling black-outs.

Load shedding is a shutdown of electric power in a part of a power distribution system.

A rolling blackout is an effort to prevent an entire power system from failing when the demand strains the capacity of the system.

“We hope to minimize the impact to our customers as best as possible, but we’ll need their support to reduce their energy impact,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley.

BWL will have 30 minutes after being notified by MISO to begin load shedding.

Customers can expect rolling blackouts to last around 20 minutes.

For security reasons, customers will not be notified before a load shedding outage.

According to the BWL, hospitals and emergency responders are unlikely to be impacted.

To reduce energy demand and help prevent blackouts, customers can help prevent blackouts by doing the following:

  • Defer large uses of energy to first thing in the morning or the evening when it’s cooler out
  • Turn off or limit air conditioners
  • Defer laundry or cooking until later
  • Don’t charge electric vehicles until after dark
  • Turn off any unneeded lights and electronics

MISO suggests the main reasons for the energy shortage include electric production facilities retiring, an increase in energy usage from the pandemic and higher summer temperatures.

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