906-293-8401 nbynews@jamadots.com

Power shortages and brownouts are possible during peak times this summer, and the warning is going out to Michigan residents now.  The Village of Newberry
may be affected if statewide power usage exceeds possible output.

That warning came in April from the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO), the organization which oversees the power grid for all or a portion of 15 states, including Michigan.

According to Executive Director Zak Joundi, MISO’s northern and central region are at heightened risk for controlled “load sheds”.

Load-shedding is defined as the deliberate shutdown of electric power in a part or parts of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entire system when the demand strains the capacity of the system.

Two predominant factors are driving power shortages. First, there has been an increase in energy usage as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ease. Second, as MISO’s January 2022 report found, “…many thermal resources have recently retired from service due to economic, regulatory, and environmental pressures, and the aging thermal assets that remain in service may be more prone to unplanned outages and face supply chain issues.”

In times of extreme demand, MISO may direct the Village of Newberry (Village) to activate emergency plans, known as load-shedding. The Village is preparing and planning for the possibility of power shortages over the summer. “We are a locally owned, community-run Public Power utility, and anything that affects our neighbors affects all of us. As much as it is within our control, we hope to minimize any potential disruption to our valued customers,” said Dan Kucinskas, Water and Light Superintendent.

“If the power grid is nearing capacity, the Village’s first action will be requesting help from you, our electric customers, who can assist by beginning conservation measures such as turning off unneeded lights and electronics or limiting the use of air conditioning,” Kucinskas said. “These simple steps, when we all follow them, can make a world of difference. the Village is confident we will come through this together.”

“Our outstanding reliability is a keystone of Michigan’s Public Power utilities,” says Katie Abraham, Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal Electric Association (MMEA). “This will not change if the power grid faces the threat of outages this summer.”

The Village is working to ensure critical services are uninterrupted during temporary or sustained power outages. Critical care customers who depend on electricity for oxygen or other life-sustaining medical equipment should contact the Village at 906-293-5681 if they have not already done so previously.