March 4 The U.S. Midwest power grid operator on
Tuesday asked utilities to stop unnecessary maintenance to avoid
power shortages, because frigid temperatures were driving up
demand and some plants were already shut for forced outages.
The warning means utilities must stop unnecessary power
transmission and generation maintenance. It does not mean the
grid will run out of electricity for consumers, grid operator
Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) told its members
in a couple of emails.
These warnings are for energy companies only - not
consumers. The MISO has many options before it has to ask
consumers to conserve power.
Temperatures were expected to reach a high of 24 degrees F
on Tuesday in Chicago, the biggest city in the Midwest. The
normal high at this time of year is 42 degrees.
MISO, the second biggest power grid in the United States,
operates the power grid in 15 U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast states
and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
The biggest power companies in MISO include units of Duke
Energy Corp, Xcel Energy Inc, Entergy Corp
, Ameren Corp, Berkshire Hathaway's
MidAmerican Energy and DTE Energy Co.