IOWA — A new assessment suggests Iowans can expect more power outages this summer because energy companies might not be able to keep up with demand.
Hot weather, a growing economy, and the early retirement of coal-burning plants will put pressure on Iowa’s power grid.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, says that capacity in the region could be short during peak demand and that it may need to rely on imports or emergency measures to maintain the grid.
“The seasonal assessment aligns with the cleared resources identified in the 2022-2023 Planning Resource Auction, which indicated capacity shortfalls in both the north and central regions of MISO and leaving those areas at increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the bulk electric system,” said JT Smith, executive director – market operations at MISO.
Other industry experts say the situation is not so urgent and note that Iowa has capacity to spare.
MidAmerican Energy says it is, “ready to reliably serve peak load for summer 2022. The company’s coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable generation facilities are expected to be available to provide reliable service during the summer.”
MidAmerican also says it has plans in place to educate customers about this by giving them simple steps they can take to conserve energy.