area briefs

POTENTIAL RISK OF ELECTRIC SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS THIS SUMMER 

Moorhead Public Service

MOORHEAD – As summer approaches, regional operators of the electric grid are projecting an elevated risk of electricity shortages in our area. These projections are due to:

Warmer than normal forecasted temperatures.

Greater amounts of intermittent renewable generation, such as wind and solar, in the current power supply mix that may not be available when needed.

Retirements of fossil-fueled power plants that can fill the gap when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

Public policy driving the pace of change to clean energy faster than new technologies can be developed to fill the gap.

Electricity is a unique product in the fact that the generation of electricity must be kept in balance with the usage of electricity at all times. Under normal conditions, regional grid operators ramp generators up or down to match the demand for electricity. If the demand for electricity outpaces supply, then grid operators issue energy alerts or even energy emergency alerts to balance the electric system to avoid catastrophic failure of the grid.

If Energy Alert or Energy Emergency conditions occur this summer, regional utilities will run all types of available generation to prevent electrical outages. Moorhead Public Service (MPS) is prepared to run our local generators and we may call upon local businesses that have generators to do the same, should such an event occur. Other steps include operating our load management system, which cycles air conditioners and water heaters off and on for brief periods. MPS may call upon our commercial and industrial customers that have agreements in place to curtail usage if requested.

During an ENERGY ALERT, we will ask you, our customers, to reduce your energy use as much as possible to help us avoid outages. Some of the ways you can help are: turn up your thermostat a few degrees, close your drapes or blinds to keep the sun out, shut off all unnecessary lights and equipment, and delay using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dishwashers until later in the evening.

If these and other measures are not successful, the regional grid operator will issue an ENERGY EMERGENCY and require that utilities initiate a series of controlled temporary outages, or rolling blackouts, to maintain the stability of the electric grid.

If you rely on life support equipment in your home, please call MPS at 218-477-8000 Option 4 and let us know as soon as possible. We will make every effort to avoid an outage in your area, however if you rely on life support equipment please be prepared or have alternate living arrangements made in case an outage occurs.  

“Although we can’t control energy emergencies, MPS and our power supplier, Missouri River Energy Services, are prepared to do everything possible to keep the lights on and keep homes and businesses running,” said General Manager Travis Schmidt.”

Please check for updates and information on Current Electric Grid Conditions at www.mpsutility.com, or friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss any important information.

THE CHAMBER MOVING FORWARD WITH NEW BUILDING; LAND LEASE IN FARGO

MOORHEAD – The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber has been in operation as a merged organization since 1998 and has been located in Moorhead, MN, in the Hjemkomst Center, since that time. Through the years, The Chamber has played a critical role in the growth and prosperity of this region. With over 1,980 members, The Chamber continues to grow and is a catalyst for growth and prosperity for businesses, individuals and the entire region.

In the summer of 2021, The Chamber underwent a significant exploration process for potential expansion at the current site in Moorhead and released a formal RFP to the community and membership to identify new opportunities for The Chamber’s space.

Of the 21 responses to the RFP, the proposal to co-locate on the same property as the FM Convention and Visitors Bureau best reflected the creative nature of the project and alignment with The Chamber’s priorities. In early 2022, The Chamber brought this proposal to the Fargo City Commission, as The City owns the parcel. On Tuesday, May 31, The Fargo City Commission voted to lease this land to The Chamber at $1,000 per month for 20 years, with an option for three 10-year extensions.

The Chamber will now be reaching out to its membership to seek proposals for the building project and partners to co-locate. The intent is to break ground this year and build the 10,000 to 14,000 square foot facility in a roughly 12-month period.

“This is a very exciting and crucial time for The Chamber as we continue to grow and enhance our impact in FMWF. Our organization has had a strong, positive relationship with the City of Moorhead, including through our presence at the Hjemkomst Center,” remarked President and CEO Shannon Full. “We appreciate the support we have received throughout this process, as we have explored every opportunity to expand at our current site. In June we submitted a formal RFP to our community, in an effort to have as many ideas and opportunities on the table as possible. Regardless of our physical location, we are here for our entire community and region. This is going to be a critical time for The Chamber, and we will need the support of our members to help us successfully complete this project.”

CLAY COUNTY ROAD 52 CLOSED FROM 60TH AVE S TO 80TH AVE S

MOORHEAD – Clay County Road 52 (CSAH 52) is closed between 60th Ave S (CSAH 12) and 80th Ave S (CR 67). The County has begun the final phase for the County Road 52 project.  Southbound traffic will be detoured east on CSAH 12 to 70th St S (CSAH 11), south to CR 67, then east to CSAH 52.  Northbound traffic will be detoured west on CR 67 to CSAH 11, north to CSAH 12, then west to CSAH 52.  Weather permitting, the final phase is anticipated to be completed by Friday, July 1st.

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