Drought and high temperatures could cause blackouts in large parts of the United States this summer

A combination of high temperatures, extreme drought and supply chain issues could cause power outages from Texas to California this summer, the North American Electric Reliability Corp warned in a reliability assessment this week.

Generation and transmission projects across the United States have been delayed due to “product unavailability, shipping delays and labor shortages” in recent years, potentially compounding related challenges. the weather conditions that the electricity network will have to deal with.

The sun shines above towers carrying power lines in south San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The Western Interconnector, which serves about 80 million people, could see a drop in output from hydroelectric generators due to drought and low snow accumulation.


Texas, which already experienced a power outage for thousands of Austin residents earlier this month, is expected to experience above-average temperatures in the coming months, leading to higher demand and pressure on supplies. of energy.

Millions of Texans were left without power during a winter storm last year that killed 246 people, according to the Texas Department of Health.

Texas could experience power outages this summer

Power lines are seen February 19, 2021 in Texas City, Texas. (Photo by THOMAS SHEA/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The ISO Midcontinent, which supplies electricity to people from Louisiana to the Great Lakes, could experience a capacity shortfall due to a 2.3% drop in generating capacity.


“The industry is preparing its equipment and operators for harsh summer conditions,” NERC reliability assessments manager Mark Olson said in a statement Wednesday.

“The persistent and extreme drought and accompanying weather conditions, however, are unusual and tend to create additional constraints on electricity supply and demand. Network operators in affected areas will need all the tools available to keep the system balanced this summer.

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