The power grid is changing. Traditional power plants (for example, nuclear and coal) are being replaced mainly by renewable energy, and as a nation we're increasing our reliance on electricity. This change in of itself is not bad, but it has resulted in a problem with electric reliability.
Traditional power plants are being closed without adequate replacement from renewables, and there may not be enough supply to meet demand. The J.H. Campbell coal plant, for example, is closing 15 years ahead of schedule and is responsible for about 1,500 megawatts. Our customers use 150 megawatts at peak times during summer. To put this in perspective, we have around 40,000 customers. Without needed supply, we face the potential for rolling blackouts.
Renewables are a great addition to the nation's fuel mix, and a great solution to ensure generations to come don't have to rely on finite resources for electricity. MEC's current portfolio is 63% carbon-free, and we've been trending toward cleaner resources for the past 20 years. However, we are tearing down the house before we've built a new one, and the nation's ability to keep the lights on is at risk.
If we have to implement blackouts, they will last for no more than two hours. They will not impact all customers at once and some might not even experience blackouts at all. Scroll down to learn more.