USEA Energy Briefing Explores Winter Electricity Stress, Load Shedding

Utilities in at least three regions of the country -- the Midwest, the South and New England -- and Texas should be prepared for winter energy shortfalls and load shedding. This is the consensus of numerous prognostications, including from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the industry’s own forecaster.

In the Midwest, nuclear and coal have been retired without being replaced megawatt for megawatt. In the South, it may be that utilities are not yet fully prepared for atypical cold events. And in New England, natural gas shortages, caused by pipeline inadequacy for generation, may lead to load shedding.

It is a grim picture alleviated only by early warnings and the preparedness of utilities, working cooperatively, to rush crews and other relief to each other.

The National Weather Service and the commercial services are projecting a warmer than usual winter. But the joker is unpredictable severe weather. It promises to be capricious -- a reflection of the new weather reality. Already, we have seen severe weather across the country and snow in Texas in November.

To assess the coming winter, the United States Energy Association, a no-fuel-preference, non-political, and non-lobbying group, has scheduled a virtual press briefing, another in its series of them, to examine what the utility industry and the public face as winter bears down.

As with previous briefings, the format is a panel of knowledgeable reporters will question a panel of experts. The briefing will be held on Zoom on December 14th at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Journalist Llewellyn King has organized it and will serve as moderator. USEA Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis will give welcoming and closing remarks.

Jim Robb, President and CEO, NERC
Robert Rowe, CEO, NorthWestern Energy
Anne George, VP, External Affairs and Corporate Communications, ISO New England
Scott Aaronson, Senior VP, Security and Preparedness, Edison Electric Institute
Philip Sharp, former U.S. Representative (D-IN)

Elizabeth Souder, Freelance
Jennifer Hiller, The Wall Street Journal
Rod Kuckro, Freelance
Ken Silverstein, Forbes
Matt Chester, Energy Central


Jim Robb

President and CEO

Robert Rowe

Chief Executive Officer
Northwestern Energy

Anne George

VP of External Affairs and Corporate Communications
ISO New England

Scott Aaronson

Vice President, Security and Preparedness
Edison Electric Institute (EEI)

Philip Sharp

Former Congressman (D-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives

Elizabeth Souder


Jennifer Hiller

The Wall Street Journal

Rod Kuckro


Ken Silverstein

Senior Contributor

Matt Chester

Energy Central