PRESS RELEASE: Potential Risk of Electric Service Interruptions This Summer Across Our Region

PRESS RELEASE: Potential Risk of Electric Service Interruptions This Summer Across Our Region

For Immediate Release on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

As summer approaches, regional operators of the electric grid are projecting an elevated risk of electricity shortages in our area. These projections are due to:

  • Warmer than normal forecasted temperatures.
  • Greater amounts of intermittent renewable generation, such as wind and solar, in the current power supply mix that may not be available when needed.
  • Retirements of fossil-fueled power plants that can fill the gap when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.
  • Public policy driving the pace of change to clean energy faster than new technologies can be developed to fill the gap.

Electricity is a unique product in the fact that the generation of electricity must be kept in balance with the usage of electricity at all times. Under normal conditions, regional grid operators ramp generators up or down to match the demand for electricity. If the demand for electricity outpaces supply, then grid operators issue energy alerts or even energy emergency alerts to balance the electric system to avoid catastrophic failure of the grid.

If Energy Alert or Energy Emergency conditions occur this summer, regional utilities will run all types of available generation to prevent electrical outages. Moorhead Public Service (MPS) is prepared to run our local generators and we may call upon local businesses that have generators to do the same, should such an event occur. Other steps include operating our load management system, which cycles air conditioners and water heaters off and on for brief periods. MPS may call upon our commercial and industrial customers that have agreements in place to curtail usage if requested.

During an ENERGY ALERT, we will ask you, our customers, to reduce your energy use as much as possible to help us avoid outages. Some of the ways you can help are: turn up your thermostat a few degrees, close your drapes or blinds to keep the sun out, shut off all unnecessary lights and equipment, and delay using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dishwashers until later in the evening.

If these and other measures are not successful, the regional grid operator will issue an ENERGY EMERGENCY and require that utilities initiate a series of controlled temporary outages, or rolling blackouts, to maintain the stability of the electric grid.

If you rely on life support equipment in your home, please call MPS at 218-477-8000 Option 4 and let us know as soon as possible. We will make every effort to avoid an outage in your area, however if you rely on life support equipment please be prepared or have alternate living arrangements made in case an outage occurs.  

“Although we can’t control energy emergencies, MPS and our power supplier, Missouri River Energy Services, are prepared to do everything possible to keep the lights on and keep homes and businesses running,” said General Manager Travis Schmidt.”

Please check for updates and information on Current Electric Grid Conditions at www.mpsutility.com, or friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss any important information.

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Please contact the following individual for more information regarding this press release:

Travis Schmidt, General Manager

Moorhead Public Service

Phone: 218.477.8084

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Moorhead Public Service, 500 Center Avenue, P.O. Box 779, Moorhead, MN 56561-0779 ♦ 218.477.8000, Option 4

Providing safe and reliable electricity and water to the community of Moorhead since 1895.

For information about Moorhead Public Service, visit our Web site at www.mpsutility.com.

Receive updates from Moorhead Public Service at www.twitter.com/mpsutility or www.facebook.com/mpsutility.