The magic of the electric power grid is the precise balance it must maintain to provide the exact amount of electricity (generation) needed to meet the needs of all consumers connected to the grid (load).
Our wholesale power provider, Dairyland Power Cooperative, has employees working 24/7 with the regional system operator (MISO) to ensure this balance. At St. Croix Electric Cooperative, there are important programs in place to support these efforts.
One such program is load management. Load management is most commonly used to help lower cooperative costs by reducing energy use when the price for electricity is high. Load management can also be used to help maintain balance on the power grid.
If there is a severe risk of imbalance, members may be notified of an immediate need to reduce electricity use to help avoid rolling blackouts. This scenario is a Maximum Generation (Max Gen) Event. While these events are rare, it is important to be prepared to act to keep electricity safely and reliably flowing.
If notified of a Max Gen Event, SCEC’s load management program may be activated outside of normal program hours. This could happen with minimal advance notice.
Last June on a particularly warm day, MISO advanced to a Max Gen Event. However, to date, Dairyland and its members have not had to initiate the load management program outside of normal full load control (aka Peak Alert) hours.
Access Load Control status online through Dairyland's site by clicking below:
Members who do not participate in a Load Management program can still help:
- Turn off lights, televisions, electronics and other appliances
- Cook food in a microwave instead of using a stovetop or oven
- Adjust your thermostat up or down, depending on the season
- Shift laundry, vacuuming and running the dishwasher
- Delay electric vehicle charging