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  • Writer's pictureGrace Tobin

North America's Power Grid Facing 'Unprecedented' Risk this Winter

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

According to an assessment completed by the NERC, or North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a "large portion" of North America's bulk power grid is "at risk of having insufficient energy supplies" this upcoming winter.

In a recent assessment done by the NERC, they have come out to say that customers in the Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, and parts of Texas should expect to experience blackouts due to the extreme weather conditions. However, the blackouts could lead to generator failures due to the low and prolonged temperatures. The power grids in these areas were not designed to last in these types of conditions.

This is said to be "unprecedented," but we knew it was coming.

The NERC has said that there has been "a progression of risk" through the past several years, but this year is different. Everything is suggesting an unsuccessful outcome. The NERC says that the United States relies too much off of natural gas, and the country has not been growing to support it.

The New England region, for example, lacks gas transportation capacity which makes up about 46% of their power. It is extremely important for these areas to have access to energy because they rely on this power to heat their houses and businesses.

A similar problem is occurring in Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina, where the regions are at risk of generation failure due to temperatures in these areas being statistically lower than they have been before. With reserve margins falling by over 5%, the backup energy is running low enough to set off alarms.

These issues will continue to both grow and worsen until either the states individually or country as a whole does something to fix it. But what is the solution to mass outages along the main grid?

  1. They need to pause coal plant closures until there is a solution that will help the grid keep up with the extreme and prolonged temperatures.

  2. Push for more people to invest in microgrids.

Microgrids, or self-sufficient, uniquely crafted collections of renewable energy assets that allow for independence from the main grid, can be the solution for many of the energy issues that the United States faces day to day. This same solution can be applied worldwide.

By installing a microgrid, your facility, that may be located in one of these regions, can disconnect from the main grid and be totally self-sustaining. So while general infrastructure might not be able to keep with mass energy production, you could be avoiding any of those hiccups.

The best part: A company like GridSwitch will come in and finance the entire project for you, costing you nothing out of pocket. All you have to do is continue your monthly energy bills.

The landscape of energy is changing due to unforeseen, widespread circumstances. There's no need to let your facilities suffer at the hand of the main grid.

If your company is looking to get ahead of the winter we are looking at facing, find out how we can help. Take the next step towards green energy, a more cost-effective energy, and a reliable energy system.


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