Boise Residents Brace For Extreme Heat, Power outages
A major national group has warned about the possibility of severe drought conditions for parts of the United States this year. The consequences of historically high temperatures and drought conditions could lead to rolling blackouts like those commonly experienced in California.
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Although Idaho has not had to endure rolling blackouts, the power grid's stability concerns authorities in the Gem State. Last year, Idaho Power urged consumers to use caution when cooling off their homes the previous summer due to the excessive heat wave. We reported on the story last year; you can read their reminder here.
Idaho News picked up the report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation stating that parts of North America could face power shortfalls resulting in blackouts. You can read the entire report here from the group.
The report doesn't expressly point out the Pacific Northwest as a region of concern; Idaho's power grid continues to feel the stress of a few challenging conditions. Population growth and the building of more homes and office buildings drain the existing grid. Triple-digit heat and drought-like conditions will further strain our electrical infrastructure. We do not know of any significant improvements to the Idaho power grid at the time of this publication.
Outside threats from the report include:
Electrical and other infrastructures are vulnerable to cyber security threats from Russia and other actors like North Korea.
Coal-fired plants are under duress due to supply chain issues.
Another challenging fire season in the west threatens the power system in our area. The good news for Idaho is that Duke Energy is building a new solar power plant in Twin Falls. The Jackpot solar plant "will provide a generation capacity of 120 megawatts (MW); this solar plant is projected to start commercial operation by the end of this year."
We will continue to keep you updated throughout the summer season.