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Midwest power grid faces fraught future


Midwestern states face increasing unreliability in their electric grids, with outages costing Michigan alone more than $3.5 billion in 2021.

A report from nonprofit group Local Solar for All found the cost more than doubled from 2020, echoing a warning from the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) that found the majority of the grid nationwide will face electricity shortages in the next four years.


The problem is particularly stark in Michigan, where the average length of outages also sharply increased in 2021 compared to the previous year, from 6.9 hours to 14.8 hours.


The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which serves the midwest, may face a power deficit as early as this summer. The shortfall is largely due to rapid abandonment of fossil fuels, driving demand for electricity for resources like electric vehicles faster than the grid can supply it.


“We are living in extraordinary times, from an electric industry perspective,” John Moura, NERC’s director of reliability assessment and performance analysis, said in December.


Read more in the full report here from our colleague Saul Elbein.

Welcome to The Hill’s Energy & Environment newsletter, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk — keeping you up to speed on the policies impacting everything from oil and gas to new supply chains.

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