- Vast swath of U.S. at risk of summer blackouts, regulator warns
- A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid.
- A historic drought is covering the western US, limiting supplies of hydroelectric power, and forecasts call for a hotter-than-average summer. But the fight against global warming poses its own risks as older coal-fired plants close faster than wind farms, solar facilities and batteries can replace them.
- “The pace of our grid transformation is out of sync” with the physical realities of the existing power network, Moura said.
- Supply-chain snags, meanwhile, are delaying Southwest solar projects and Texas transmission lines, while coal plants are having trouble obtaining fuel amid increased exports. And power grids face a growing threat of cyberattacks because of US support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion, according to NERC.
- California’s grid operators, in contrast, have warned that the state faces a risk of blackouts during the next three summers as the state shifts to cleaner energy.
- “We know that reliability is going to be difficult in this time of transition,” said Alice Reynolds, president of the California Public Utilities Commission
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