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‘We’re just as frustrated as customers’ -- Lansing Board of Water and Light prepares for possible rolling blackouts

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Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 12:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) warned Mid-Michigan residents on Tuesday of possible rolling blackouts.

BWL said in a press release Tuesday morning that they are preparing for possible rolling blackouts that might be forced by the regional power grid regulator, which is dealing with energy shortages outside of BWL’s control.

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The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) is the regional regulator which oversees the power grid for 15 states, including Michigan. With recent peak demand in energy due to the hot summer temperatures, MISO warned of possible energy shortages that experts said can result in “load sheds,” or rolling blackouts.

BWL stated on Tuesday that “load shedding is the deliberate shutdown of electric power in a part of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entire system when the demand strains the capacity of the system.”

Officials said that BWL would have 30 minutes to begin shedding their load after being notified from MISO. If required, load shedding can result in power outages for up to 20 minutes. Customers of BWL will not receive an advance notice of their outages for security reasons. Hospitals and emergency responders will not be impacted by these blackouts.

“We’re just as frustrated as customers will be at the potential for these blackouts,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “However, there’s unfortunately nothing within our control to prevent these from happening.”

BWL said customers can help assist in preventing blackouts by doing the following:

  • Defer large uses of energy to first thing in the morning or the evening when it’s cooler out
  • Turn off or limit air conditioners
  • Defer laundry or cooking until later
  • Don’t charge electric vehicles until after dark
  • Turn off any unneeded lights and electronics

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