We Have the Tools, We Have the Talent . . .
. . . is a line borrowed from the original Ghostbusters movie and fitting for today’s workshop on 2015 Electricity Summer Preparedness Workshop.
It’s what we expect to hear from our electric utilities to assure us they have the necessary resources to keep air conditioners and pool pumps running and otherwise meet electricity needs of residential, commercial and industrial customers when temperatures soar to 110 degrees and beyond this summer.
And that’s exactly what the State’s major power utilities told the Arizona Corporation Commission at the Commission’s 2015 Summer Readiness workshop this week. Each company, APS, TEP, UNS Electric, SRP and AEPCO, described their generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as operational procedures to keep the lights on and keep customers informed about any possible disruptions and power restoration in the event of extreme summer storms. You can access their presentations here.
The bottom line: the utilities have evaluated the risks, planned for resources and contingencies, and trained their workforces to keep our homes and businesses comfortable and thriving in the face of Arizona’s blistering summer heat.
Arizona Public Service Company
2015 Forecast Peak Retail Load: 6,886 MW
2015 Min Reserve Requirement: 960 MW
2015 Resources and Call Options: 9,095 MW
Tucson Electric Power Company
2015 Forecast Peak Retail Load: 2,222 MW
2015 Resources: 2,490 MW
2015 Forecast Retail Load Demand: 351 MW
2015 Resources: 1,050 MW
Salt River Project:
2015 Forecast Retail Load: 6,715 MW
2015 Resources: 8,527
To meet peak demand, the utilities have developed and acquired a diverse array of resources including coal, nuclear, natural gas, utility-scale wind and solar and have contracts with other neighboring utilities for additional power when needed. Customer-owned generating resources, i.e., rooftop solar also complements the utilities’ own sources of power. Tens of thousands of miles of transmission and distribution lines carry power to load centers and to homes and businesses.
Customers also assist the utilities in meeting peak load requirements by engaging in energy conservation, thus reducing demand. Each of the utilities have programs to encourage energy efficiency.
Arizona’s electricity grid and its capacity to deliver dependable power on demand is an engineering marvel – and one we too often take for granted. Yet it’s a continual work in progress with on-going investment and technology upgrades required to keep it functioning at the highest level.
Many thanks to the thousands of men and women who built it, keep watch over it, and make it work for us.