Record-breaking heat means record-breaking energy consumption in the Valley
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The blistering hot temperatures the Valley has experienced in recent days are putting added pressure on the power grid.
Every year, thousands of people move into the Valley, and that translates to a higher demand for people trying to keep their homes and businesses cool. As more and more people try to cool down their homes, the demand on energy has become record-breaking.
In an area the APS calls its "trading floor", at least a three-person crew is monitoring power consumption, 24-hours a day. During the heat wave, they saw something no one at the company has ever saw before
"Yesterday was an all-time record for the amount of power that APS customers consumed," said Brad Albert, the Resource Management GM for APS. "It happened somewhere around 5:30 last night."
The 119F temperatures meant APS customers used 7,350 megawatts of power, which shattered an 11-year-old record. SRP customers were in the same boat, as the company also reported record breaking consumption.
Albert said the company has been preparing for it, since forecasters predicted the intense heat last week.
"Some of the things we think about are making sure all of our power plants are ready to go," said Albert. "If something needs a minor fix, we would have taken that outage time last week, got the tune up done."
Even on days when it the highs only reach 117F, a couple of degrees difference can have a big impact on the grid.
"These folks are focused on the weather and watching the weather forecast all the time, and that one two degree difference can make the difference of 100 megawatts or more power consumption," said Albert.