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Load Shedding

PREPARE FOR LOAD SHEDDING EVENTS

Emergency Response & Preparedness Plan

WHAT TO KNOW:

MISO projects a 5-gigawatt deficit in meeting its forecasted summer peak of 124-gigawatts. 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. 

Learn more:
Zeeland BPW Press Release

OUR RESPONSE:

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:

  • Monitoring the situation closely to suspend discretionary system maintenance and operate on-site power generating units at maximum capacity as needed
  • Reducing consumption via public appeals to conserve energy
  • Implementing controlled load-shed procedures as ordered by MISO

We have prioritized essential services such as the hospital to remain uninterrupted during controlled power outages. 

DEFINITIONS:

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.

HOW YOU CAN PREPARE:
  • Read through the Frequently Asked Questions section below
  • Start conservation efforts early
  • Businesses owners should develop a plan for voluntary load reduction, and an emergency plan for a potential load-shed event
  • If you depend on electricity for life-sustaining medical equipment, contact us to ensure our records are up to date and develop a contingency plan if a load-shed event were to impact you
  • Inform your household and neighbors of the possibility of controlled power outages and direct them to our website
LOAD SHED ALERT STAGES

Stage 1 – Monitor

  • Stand by & begin conservation efforts
  • Businesses, review your load reduction and emergency outages plans

Stage 2 – Reduce

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher
  • Turn off pool/spa pumps and heaters
  • Run energy-intensive appliances during the early morning or after 9pm
  • Close window coverings to keep rooms cool
  • Businesses, reduce your energy consumption

Stage 3 – Implement

  • Keep the refrigerator door closed
  • If you have a well remember to conserve water as the pump requires power
  • Businesses, implement your emergency power outage plan

Load Shedding Alert Stage Notification Center:

Load Shed Status

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.

Map with Block IDs

Click the map to determine the block ID at your service address. Remember your Block ID for possible Load Shedding Events. 

 

 

 

Public Notifications

We will do our best to notify
the public of outages.

Outage Times

Posted outage times are
always an estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will we see power outages/brownouts this summer?

MISO has warned that power shortages exist in our region. As we approach the hot summer 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.

What caused this problem? Why can’t you fix it?

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.

What is Zeeland BPW doing to prepare for this?

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.

Doesn’t Zeeland BPW have generators that provide power to its customers in these situations?

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.

Will we be notified before any controlled outages?

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.

How long will my outage last?

If your home or business is included in a controlled power outage, you can expect your power to be restored within 1-2 hours.

How does Zeeland BPW determine which customers lose power during a load-shed event?

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.

What do I do if my power is turned off during a load-shed event?

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.