Most Mainers are no strangers to the occasional power outage.

Typically, these power outages happen during nasty winter weather, like nor’easters.  While there have been recent exceptions, they typically don’t last longer than a few hours.

Does Maine ever have summer power outages?

The state does see the occasional summer power outage, but they rarely involve weather events.  Normally, any summer power outage is caused by a vehicle crash taking down a utility pole, or the failure of key equipment in the infrastructure.

That could soon change.

Fre' Sonneveld / Unsplash
Fre' Sonneveld / Unsplash

Could Maine see summer blackouts or brownouts in 2024?

According to an article on the Utility Dive website, ISO New England, which oversees the bulk power transmission lines throughout the region, is confident that they will be able to meet the peak summer electric demand.  However, if New England sees an extended period of hot weather, it could cause problems.

The article explains that ISO New England will have about 30,000 megawatts available to meet the anticipated demand of 24,553 megawatts.  This should be more than adequate during a normal summer.  If the region sees a lengthy heatwave, the increased use of air conditioning and refrigeration will strain the power grid more.  In extreme cases, the organization may have to institute controlled outages in order to keep the grid operating.

Fortunately, controlled blackouts would be a last resort.

The article explains that:

The grid operator can call for online generators to increase production, dispatch stand-by units and call for voluntary conservation before needing turning to blackouts

While we all want a warm summer, let’s just hope it doesn’t get too warm.

If you are a nerd, you can always keep an eye on how the ISO New England grid is doing on the live dashboard.  See it HERE.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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