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Power Generation Alert


Dairyland Power via MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) has issued a Max Gen Alert. Generation capacity is nearing limits. The Village will be using our diesel generator to help with the load. Please do your best to conserve power. Additional details to follow.

Thank you.

Additional Details:

This is a follow-up on the alert sent earlier to the Village of Merrillan. Please read below for a good explanation on what this means. In reference to the Village specifically, when this happens or when a “peak alert” occurs, the Village has a diesel generator we run to assist the grid with the load placed on it. There are members all across the grid footprint that do this which helps alleviate the stress, and normally, keep the power on. This setup allows the Village in most cases to receive reduced costs because of the wholesale purchase of power from companies like Dairyland Power. The Village of Merrillan does not currently implement load control, but companies like Jackson Electric do, if one chooses to participate in such a program. If reductions are not met to alleviate the strain, rolling blackouts could occur.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for operating the power grid in 15 states and Manitoba, Canada. In May, MISO made it evident that there is an increased possibility of rolling black outs due to an unbalance in power generation at peak times and usage during those peak times.

MISO’s Executive Director, recently stated, “MISO’s northern and central regions are at heightened risk for controlled load sheds or planned blackouts.” MISO may activate emergency plans, which would result in load shedding (reducing the demand for electricity) outside of seasonal full load control hours (2 p.m. to 6 p.m., in the summer). If the power grid is nearing capacity, members will be asked to begin conservation measures such as limiting the use of air conditioning. Members should also delay the use of dishwashers, washers and dryers and other nonessential electricity items. These measures take some pressure off the grid to help keep the lights on and help avoid blackouts. Additional details on this, here:

A really good explanation of what all of this this means can be found on the Jackson Electric website, here:

A considerable amount of detail, such as procedures, etc, can be found here:

You can monitor the energy grid for MISO, here:–market-data/operations-displays/

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Incoming Winter Weather

We have had some challenges over the last week or so with the winter weather that blanketed the region. Unfortunately it appears we are in for some more, along with high winds and freezing temperatures. For what to expect, go here:

To keep up-to-date, go here:

Power delivery in the Village of Merrillan is unique for such a small population. We own and operate our utility and purchase electricity from wholesale providers, such as Dairyland Power, among others including renewable resources.

The electricity infrastructure in the United States varies depending on where you go, but normally consists of multiple providers, public and private, coordinating together for power delivery. This means you have many different routes, types, ages, and so forth for the grid.

In Merrillan our primary lines come in from Jackson Electric, who also utilizes Dairyland Power, and other sources. From there we have multiple other lines owned by different organizations who are responsible for their maintenance, repair, and overall operation. For example, Merrillan operates out of the Merrillan Substation, which is actually at the intersection of US Hwy 12 & Gilbert Rd, south of the Village towards Black River Falls.

There are many opportunities for mother nature, and humans, to interrupt our electricity within our small Village. Inside the Village itself we have plenty of tall pine and other trees which make it a very beautiful area, but that also means more trees to fall on power lines. Even with clearing right-of-ways we have many trees that are beyond that, which in turn with weather like we just had, will result in downed lines, and therefore outages.

It just takes time.

With Merrillan being such a small Village we have limited resources when situations like this arise. In fact, just about any utility, regardless of size and staff, will struggle to get the power turned back on with weather like this, many others certainly did, large and small. It is not as simple as flipping a switch. You have to find the power lines that were downed, hope they aren’t broken, ensure your equipment is operating properly and safely, work during continuing inclement weather (up in a bucket, in the air), work around dangerous voltages of electricity, and in the case of last week, work around continuously falling trees, limbs, and battling the wind. These are long and hard hours put in by line workers everywhere, and ours did a fantastic job with the very lage task at hand.

So, as citizens what can we do to help mitigate this? We can prepare as best we can.

Buy a generator and learn to operate it safely, have options available to keep warm, SAFELY. Have food and water on hand that do not need electricity. Keep up on clearing snow so if needed emergency vehicles can access your location. Above all, make a plan, ANY plan is better than none!

Thank you, stay safe!

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Welcome to the Official Village of Merrillan, Wisconsin Government website!

The Village of Merrillan is a community that enjoys a top notch education system, a long standing emphasis on safety, and is nestled between the calming and tranquil water falls of Oakwood and Trow lakes. Our surroundings are one of forestry, natural beauty and wildlife.

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