KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, released its summer outlook Thursday, showing above average temperatures for the next three months. The group expects almost the entire country to have a warmer than normal summer. The group also predicts lower than normal precipitation.

The FOX4KC Weather Team agrees.

That’s bad news according to an assessment from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The corporation oversees power grid stability.

According to the report, a huge area of North America is at risk of blackouts this summer as the heat soars and strains the power grid.

The area at highest risk is from the Great Lakes to the West Coast according to the NAERC.

The group said there are several reasons behind the issue, including supply-chain problems and older power plants. It also said some newer solar and wind power options aren’t coming on grid as quickly as expected.

Another issue is that many plants pull water from rivers like the Mississippi. Drought conditions and lower than normal rainfall means less water in those rivers, according to experts.

So, what does that mean for Kansas and Missouri?

Most of the electric companies in the Kansas City area are part of the Southwest Power Pool. The Pool supplies power for the following 14 states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

It’s the same power pool that experienced problems and outages during the extreme cold in February 2021.

The NAERC warns it’s possible the grid could experience the same issues in the coming months, except during the extreme heat.

Local power companies disagreed with the assessment and said they don’t expect that to happen this summer.

BPU

The Board of Public Utilities in Wyandotte County said it’s working with the Southwest Power Pool to ensure it and other utilities have the resources they need to meet the peak summer demands.

“At this point BPU and SPP expects to have enough available generation to meet those demands throughout the entire summer period,” BPU said in a statement.

BPU said even though it expects to have enough power, summer is always a good time to conserve when possible.

“From a system perspective the highest system demand during the summer months is in the late afternoons and thus anything customers can do to reduce their usage during those periods would aid the system as a whole,” BPU said.

Evergy

Based on summer outlooks, Evergy said it expects to be able to meet customer needs.

The company is preforming power plant maintenance. Evergy said it also has predictive maintenance programs to identify where repairs may be needed and help prevent outages.

“Evergy has committed to our customers and regulators that we will maintain reliable, affordable energy for customers as we transition to more sustainable energy sources,” Evergy said in a statement.

Independence Power & Light

Independence Power and Light said it’s also been in contact with the Southwest Power Pool. It said the SPP has said it doesn’t anticipate the challenges in the NERC warning and expects to have sufficient resources available.

“We will continually monitor the situation and are obligated to follow the directions from SPP with regard to load-shedding and resource operations to maintain grid stability, but currently do not anticipate any issues,” Independence Power & Light said in a statement.

IPL said it also maintains six combustion turbines within the city that help alleviate local transmission and distribution issues. It expects to be called on by SPP to operate those during the summer months, as it usually does during peak usage.

📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on fox4kc.com for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.