FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2022
Jodee Eckels, manager of communications/HR
OSCEOLA, IA – The potential for extreme hot temperatures over the summer months combined with high seasonal electric use could intermittently impact member-consumers of Clarke Electric Cooperative.
Clarke Electric continues to monitor reports from the Midcontinent Independent System Operators (MISO) regarding possible generation shortfalls over the next several months. While Clarke Electric’s power supplier, Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), has met its generation capacity requirements for the summer, the potential shortfalls in the overall MISO system could impact Iowa. In response, and to maintain the balance and stability of the electric grid within its territory, MISO may initiate temporary controlled load interruptions.
MISO manages energy supply and demand in real-time generation within its footprint across the middle U.S. and parts of Canada, including about 90% of Iowa, to ensure electricity supply and demand are balanced. However, a shortfall is caused by several factors, including a simultaneous increase in electric usage and a reduction in coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants that are closing faster than new sources of generation can replace them.
“Although wind and solar play a much larger role in today’s energy industry, we must maintain an ‘all of the above’ strategy that also includes coal, natural gas and nuclear to keep the lights on when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining,” said CEC General Manager Dave Opie. “We are not yet at the point where battery storage technology allows for renewable energy sources to be stored and used at any time.”
Clarke Electric member-consumers who are concerned about intermittent power interruptions are advised to keep a gas or diesel generator maintained and ready for use and follow all safety instructions while operating. They can also help conserve energy and reduce the potential for controlled intermittent interruptions in power by:
Running an electric washer/dryer during off-peak times such as before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.;
Raising the air conditioner thermostat a few degrees (up to78 degrees or higher);
Turning off all lights during the day or in empty rooms;
Substituting air conditioner use with ceiling fans to keep cool;
Unplugging appliances and other electrical equipment that aren’t in use; and
Close blinds and curtains to keep the sun out
“The more member-consumers we have conserving energy, the better for our cooperative,” Opie said. “Energy prices are very high during peak periods and that impacts the power supply cost to everyone. If we all become more energy aware and make a few modifications in when and how we use energy, we can make a difference together.”
Public notification of any power interruptions is required and will be announced on the CEC Web site, www.cecnet.net, and Facebook page, @CECIowa.