Extreme heat could lead to strain on power grid, blackouts

Bartholomew County REMC is warning about the possibility of rolling blackouts during this week’s extreme heat.

According to the local utility, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator oversees the regional electric grid including Indiana. The regulators have announced that capacity shortages may require emergency conservation measures to meet summer demand. They also have announced the possibility of short duration blackouts to protect the grid and reduce the risk of prolonged, widespread outages.

If the regulators issue a warning, Bartholomew County REMC will request that its users temporarily reduce electrical power use wherever possible. That would include avoiding the use of major appliances such as ovens, dishwashers, and clothes driers until after 8 in the evening and moving your thermostat up a couple of degrees for a few hours.

However, if the power transmission grid hits max capacity, rolling blackouts will begin with brief power outages lasting no more than 30 minutes at a time.

During an alert, notifications will be posted on Facebook and Twitter and e-mail notifications will be sent to inform members.