People from Michigan to Texas to California are at risk of losing power throughout the summer, according to a report Wednesday from North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The Midwest is at "high risk" while other parts of the US are at an "elevated risk" of energy emergencies.
NERC, a regulatory authority that oversees the reliability of electrical infrastructure in North America, said above-average seasonal temperatures, as well drought conditions, are to blame. Droughts will affect how much energy hydro generators can produce, as well as output from thermal generators that need water to keep them cool.
has been an issue in the Western and Southwestern US regions since the beginning of 2021. Satellite images of in Arizona show the declining water level there.
"Persistent, extreme drought and its accompanying weather patterns, however, are out-of-the-ordinary and tend to create extra stresses on electricity supply and demand," said Mark Olson, NERC's manager of Reliability Assessments.
NERC's report also found supply chain issues, an active late-summer wildfire season and ongoing cybersecurity threats are all factors that could affect power grid reliability over the summer.