Power Pools & Reliability
SUMMER IN WISCONSIN. Responding to concerns about the electric shortages of the summer of 1997 and fears that they could happen again, Wisconsin PSC Commissioner Joseph P. Mettner has indicated that the state's energy supply outlook for the summer of 1998 appears much better in eastern Wisconsin than it did one year ago.
Mettner noted that Wisconsin's electric supply system is operating with expected reserve margins of 19.2 percent. But he cautioned that electric power flows do not respect borders.
"Outages of 7,000-MW of nuclear units to the south of Wisconsin can cause severe strain on the transmission system as companies use the system to import replacement power," Mettner said. Eastern Wisconsin again could experience reliability problems due to factors beyond the control of the PSC, such as the substantial nuclear outages throughout Illinois, Michigan and Ontario. Also, extended periods of hot weather or unexpected plant shutdowns could lead to power shortages. (For updates, see http://badger.state.wi.us/agencies/psc/writings/papers/energy/risklvl.htm.)