Areas of Mississippi, southern United States at ‘high risk’ for electrical failure, outages this summer, report says

Published 2:04 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

Portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana are at “high risk” of electrical grid failure this summer, according to a nonprofit group that helps set regulatory standards for U.S. grid operators.

In its Summer Reliability Assessment for 2022, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, warns that the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) — which provides energy transmission for the Midwest, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana — is at “high risk” of a capacity shortfall and energy emergencies during peak summer conditions.

In the South, high summer temperatures and drought conditions add to the risk. According to the report, peak electricity demand in most areas is directly influenced by temperature. Weather officials are expecting above-normal temperatures for much of North America this summer. In addition, drought exists or threatens wide areas of North America, resulting in unique challenges to area electricity supplies and potential impacts on demand. The report said that above-average seasonal temperatures can contribute to high peak demand and increases in forced outages.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Last summer, Texans were asked to reduce their usage amid a heatwave in June.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that a key transmission line connecting MISO’s northern and southern areas will be out of service.

Restoration continues on a 4-mile section of transmission line that was damaged by a tornado during severe storms on December 2021. The transmission outage affects 1,000 MW of firm transfers between the Midwestern and Southern MISO systems, including parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The transmission line is expected to be restored at the end of June 2022.

Texas and the western U.S. are at “elevated risk” of seeing grid shortages.

Click here to read the Summer Reliability Assessment for 2022.