Publication Date May 18, 2023 | Climate Nexus Hot News

US Power Grid Faces Tough Summer From Extreme Heat

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) is warning that much of the US is at risk for power outages if the summer is as hot as scientists are forecasting. This marks the agency’s most expansive warning yet as the coming heat could limit the western US from transferring electricity within the region, further straining electricity supply. Only a few regions of the U.S. may be spared from power outages, according to NERC. “The system is close to its edge,” John Moura, a director at NERC told the Washington Post. “More needs to be done to bolster the system’s resilience.” Investment in more and better electricity transmission is needed as a solution, but interstate disputes over transmission infrastructure siting and supply chain challenges have slowed the transmission permitting process. “There is a huge amount of wind and solar waiting in the queues,” Ric O’Connell, executive director of GridLab told the Washington Post. “We have not been able to bring it online fast enough to replace retiring plants. We need to move faster.” Climate change currently causes rare heat waves to be 3 to 5°F warmer over most of the U.S., and by 2050, U.S. heat waves could be an extra 3 to 5°F warmer. (Utility DiveBloomberg $, E&E $), Washington Post $) 

(Climate Signals: Heat)

To receive climate stories like this in your inbox daily click here to sign up for the Hot News Newsletter from Climate Nexus: