Our region is at an elevated risk of “insufficient operating reserves in above-normal conditions” according to a report released by the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC). This projected deficiency is due to contributing factors such as predicted above-average temperatures and aging or recently retired thermal resources. Therefore, in times of extreme electric demand with all other options exhausted, MISO may direct the Zeeland BPW and neighboring utilities to implement load-shedding.
Below you will find information regarding our response plans, what you can do to prepare, and updated communication about load shedding events.
Zeeland BPW Press Release
Reliability and quality service are vitally important to us. Therefore, we have made significant investments in our generation, transmission, and distribution systems and continue to do so. Although the capacity shortfalls are part of a larger regional supply issue, we are prepared to follow MISO’s directives and implement our emergency response plans. Which includes:
We have prioritized essential services such as the hospital to remain uninterrupted during controlled power outages.
Load Shedding: The deliberate shutdown of electric power in parts of a power-distribution system to prevent failure of the entire system.
MISO: The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) oversees the power grid for 15 states, including Michigan.
Thermal Resources: Generating facilities powered by fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, and oil.
Stage 1 – Monitor
Stage 2 – Reduce
Stage 3 – Implement
If we are in or actively preparing for a Load Shedding Event, the graphic will show the current stage.
If there are no active events, a static image of the Alert Stages will appear instead.
Click the map to determine the block ID at your service address. Remember your Block ID for possible Load Shedding Events.
We will do our best to notify
the public of outages.
Posted outage times are
always an estimate.
MISO has warned that power shortages exist in our region. As we approach the extreme weather months, there may be times when the supply of available electric power is unable to meet customer demand. To avoid uncontrolled blackouts, emergency load-shedding may become necessary as a last resort, if reserve generation and voluntary appeals for load reduction are not sufficient.
Unfortunately, this is a complex problem that can’t quickly be fixed by any one electric utility. This projected deficiency is primarily due to predicted above-average temperatures and aging or recently retired generation assets fueled by thermal resources. These tight grid conditions impact all electric utilities – big or small – not just Zeeland BPW. Consumers Energy, DTE, and other electric utilities in Michigan, and across the region, are also preparing for potential power shortages.
We are actively planning and preparing for the possibility of power shortages. As much as it is within our control, we hope to minimize any disruption to our customers. We are sharing this information now because we are committed to transparency and want to keep you informed.
Yes, we have diesel and natural gas-powered generators that can produce approximately 40% of our load during peak demand. If a power shortage situation is anticipated, our generators will be operating at maximum output prior to requesting voluntary load reductions. A load-shed event will only occur if all other options have been exhausted.
Prior to reaching a load-shed event, we will request help from you, our customers, to assist us by beginning conservation measures such as turning off unneeded lights, electronics, and limiting the use of air conditioning by increasing the thermostat a few degrees. As a last resort, we may have to implement temporary controlled outages for parts of our service area. We will make every effort to notify you as quickly as possible, and monitor the BPW’s website for updates.
If your home or business is included in a controlled power outage, you can expect your power to be restored within 1-2 hours.
In a load shed event, MISO informs Michigan’s utilities the amount of energy load (in megawatts) they need to take offline. Then, we select the number of blocks in our service territory that, when taken offline, will meet the required reduction in energy.
Remain calm, power will be restored within 2 hours. Keep the refrigerator door closed, and if you have a well remember to conserve water as the pump requires power. If power is not restored within 2 hours or the BPW’s website does not indicate a load-shed event is active, contact the BPW at (616) 772-6212 as this may be an unrelated event.