Renewable energy strengthens the grid
Put simply, the energy grid is the intricate system through which energy is generated, transmitted, distributed, and used. Not long ago, distribution of electricity was fairly simple. It was a one-way street. Utility companies generated energy and delivered it directly to you through pipes, wires, substations, poles and transmission lines. Now, an energy highway flows freely between all parts of the grid, and includes power plants, hydroelectric dams, solar panels, wind turbines, and other sources of power generation.
Renewables help create more grid flexibility, or the ability to respond to system changes quickly. Renewable energy systems are typically more cost-effective than traditional power sources, since they utilize free energy sources such as the sun and the wind. And, renewable energy systems are widely available, making them a strong energy option nationwide.
The more diverse energy sources, the better
Generally, the inclusion of solar and wind energy sources strengthen the energy grid. They provide additional power sources that can keep energy flowing even when other parts of the grid aren’t performing. That means fewer power interruptions and more reliable energy service all year round.
Diversifying our energy sources makes the entire grid more resistant to disruption and catastrophe. A diversified electric system helps protect against power supply fluctuations, such as supply shortages. For example, if coal facilities are incapacitated, renewable sources can take over, ensuring that power continues to flow even during extreme conditions.
Independent power grids face weather adversity alone
Some areas of the country have their own independent power grid, which makes it difficult to borrow from other regions. When a powerful winter storm hit the southern region of the country with freezing rain and snow followed by record-temps last winter, some states were not prepared for the unusual weather and the lingering impact to its citizens.
Alliant Energy is part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the market system organizer that coordinates the electric system from Louisiana to the Midwest and into Canada.
MISO oversees when additional capacity is needed for peak events and manages changes in electric demands. The system also has robust partnerships with several regional power organizations and the opportunity to leverage or exchange power as needed.
Additionally, we make sure to follow our Clean Energy Blueprint. This plan includes a broad portfolio of renewable resources and includes wind, solar, natural gas and battery storage. This mix allows Alliant Energy to continually and reliably deliver the energy its customers need every day. It all ties back to Alliant Energy’s purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build strong communities.
No bad weather
While continuing to deliver sufficient energy to customers, Alliant Energy regularly performs preventative maintenance and repairs of generation resources as well as the gas and electric distribution systems. In fact, Alliant Energy’s wind, solar and other energy generating assets are engineered to operate in cold temperatures.
Additionally, we maintain winterization plans and detailed checklists to ensure all assets perform as expected, especially during extreme or cold temperatures. Our own team of energy forecasters monitor a variety of factors every day and anticipate customer’s energy needs to ensure resources are available to meet the demands. In addition, our natural gas transmission and distribution systems are designed to meet the needs of its customers during these times of extremely high demand.
Providing the safe and reliable energy customers need is Alliant Energy's first priority. We’re dedicated to building a smarter, stronger energy grid that meets our customers energy needs no matter the weather.