As temperatures rise, Tipmont realizes its members may have questions about the reliability of regional electric grids to meet summer-season demands.
We’ve got some answers for you, and it starts with a primer on how electricity gets to your home.
Tipmont does not generate its own electricity. We distribute power to you that we purchase from Wabash Valley Power Alliance. Your energy’s journey, though, starts with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO. On Tipmont’s behalf, Wabash Valley buys power from MISO — which generates over 200,000 megawatts of power for 15 U.S. states and a Canadian province.
Prompted by a recent news release from MISO about the topic, there has been some media coverage about increased electricity demands this summer.
MISO anticipates a warmer-than-normal summer, which could drive up those demands. This demand could exceed what is available through MISO’s projected, regularly available energy generation.
In its news release, MISO referenced potential emergency procedures to protect its system if that were to happen. Coordinated, temporary power outages — colloquially known as blackouts or brownouts — were one possible procedure that MISO mentioned. Such outages would depend on availability of generation resources MISO cannot directly control, like capacity imports and wind generation. Coordinated outages would be a last-step emergency measure.
Please bear in mind: MISO has never implemented coordinated outages in Indiana. Although they are unlikely, preparing for them is always a best practice for professionals who maintain the electric grid.
In the event that coordinated outages take place, ready.gov has information to help you prepare for such a situation. Wabash Valley recently shared some tips on ways to beat the heat without cranking the air conditioner this summer. Plus, reducing your own energy demand is always a good idea no matter the temperature outside. Tipmont can help you do that, and perhaps save money, with an in-home energy audit. To learn more about this program, or schedule an audit, visit tipmont.org/hea.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.