Consumers Energy doesn’t predict any planned power outages this summer
Mich. (WNEM) - As reports swirl of energy companies in 15 states – including Michigan - saying there could be planned power outages to conserve energy, mid-Michigan’s largest power company has no plans for any controlled outages this summer.
“During the summer periods with all the air conditioners running, there could be a bigger demand for electric energy. Consumers Energy is ready for that,” said Tim Sparks, vice president of electric grid integration at Consumers Energy.
Sparks spoke with TV5 after the power grid operator MISO, which stands for Midcontinent Independent System Operator, released its summer assessment. It said peak demand coupled with warmer than normal temperatures could lead to temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the electric system across 15 states.
Sparks said Consumers Energy is taking steps to try and make sure that doesn’t happen.
“We’ve got a pretty diverse portfolio of generating assets that we have for our customers. We’ve been doing our pre-summer maintenance on our generating facilities and we plan to have them all available and ready to go by June 1,” Sparks said.
Sparks has tips for customers to keep electricity use down when temperatures rise.
“Set your thermostat up, not do any maybe housework that you had planned to do like run a clothes dryer or anything like that, that might use quite a bit of electricity that would be very helpful,” Sparks said.
He said in the event MISO asks Consumers Energy to cut back on electricity, people who signed up for special rates that have volunteered to reduce usage will be told to do that. Sparks said broader public appeals would follow. If that is not enough, planned outages may occur.
“They may ask us to start turning off customers for a period of time and kind of rotating through no electric usage for a period of time. But that is really the extreme. That has never happened, at least in our state, that I’m aware of,” Sparks said.
Sparks is optimistic mid-Michigan will not see any planned outages this summer.
TV5 reached out to DTE Energy but have not heard back.
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