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Electric cooperatives issue peak energy alert


Aug. 10--Several rural energy providers issued a "peak energy alert" this afternoon asking users to reduce consumption from 2 p.m. into the evening.

People's Energy Cooperative of Oronoco, MiEnergy Cooperative of Rushford, Albert Lea-based Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, St. Ansgar, Iowa-based Heartland Power Cooperative issued the alert.

"All cooperative members are urged to reduce electrical usage until after 6 p.m. Members enrolled in energy management strategies (load control) can expect to be affected between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.," according to the alert.

The announcement encouraged energy customers to conserve electricity by taking steps like setting their air conditioner to 78 degrees, running the dishwasher or doing laundry later in the evening, using a microwave or grill instead of the oven to cook dinner, and keeping televisions or gaming systems off.


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Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Aug 12, 2020 2:15 pm GMT

Most coops don't encourage Solar and don't give net-metering. If they did and or had large Solar farms they could cover theat afternoon load. Solar makes the most from 10 am to 2 PM and still makes a good amount from 9 am to 6 PM. With advanced battery storage the homes, businesses and Coop could also cover this. 

   I'd love to know their energy mix and find out the root cause. They can also have energy efficieny programs that add more insulation, radiant barrier and use LED lights. It all adds up but they don't seem to have done these steps. 

Eric Van Orden's picture
Eric Van Orden on Aug 12, 2020 4:03 pm GMT

Is it the co-ops or the regulations/contracts with generation & transmission providers that influence rural solar development? 

Eric Van Orden's picture
Eric Van Orden on Aug 12, 2020 3:38 pm GMT

Is the impact of broad messages like this measured? Low-tech and large scale communications have their benefits. But, I wonder how many consumers it really reaches and how many of them are prepared/conditioned to take energy-saving actions.  

BTW, I say conditioned in a good way. Like home energy reports have conditioned many of us to think about how much energy we use, as the reports are recurring and the data includes puts things into context.  Rather than waiting a month, what if home energy reports provided consumptions insights and suggestions right at the point that energy consumption peaks during certain days. 

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