Date: Feb 27, 2019

The US Midwest is experiencing some of the coldest temperatures in modern history. In addition to rendering millions of people throughout the region with no power, extremely cold temperatures introduce several challenges to conventional electrical infrastructure. Low temperatures disrupt and, in some cases, stop fossil fuel generators from operating properly. Ice that forms as a result of low temperatures may restrict turbines from rotating for wind installations and disable solar panels from seeing sunlight. Utilities are taking precautions to ensure that they remain in operation for all constituents. For example, Xcel Energy notified its customers in Minnesota to turn down their thermostats to 63 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of January to “reduce significant strain on [its] natural gas system.”

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