WEATHER

Peak Demand Hits Utah’s Power Grid During Heat Wave

Jun 14, 2021, 7:10 PM | Updated: 8:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY & ST. GEORGE, Utah — Power companies across Utah said they were keeping a close eye on their systems this week as the extreme heat is putting stress on the electrical grid.

“Our system is really sensitive to temperature,” said David Eskelsen with Rocky Mountain Power. “So when it gets to be 100 degrees, and the cooling isn’t below 70 at night, that’s when our peak demand happens.”

Most of the power being used during the heat wave will go to running air conditioners at homes and businesses, Eskelsen said. The summer daily demand peaks in the late afternoon and early evening.

Eskelsen said crews with Rocky Mountain Power prepare all year for extreme summer weather by maintaining or expanding generation and transmission systems. The company also focuses on forecasting peak demand and having reserve power available.

“The point is to be ready before the hot weather happens,” he said.

During the heat wave, Eskelsen said Rocky Mountain Power wasn’t expecting any problems in Utah, but still has extra staff on standby and crews monitoring potential problem areas.

Customers can help, he said, by turning up the thermostat to 78 degrees.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and effort making the right investments in the system to be able to weather these hot periods of time,” Eskelsen said.

If there are any outages this week, Eskelsen said they would most likely be isolated to small areas having specific equipment issues. Rolling blackouts — like California saw last summer and Texas experienced in February — would be a last resort and only used in the event of a major equipment failure or loss of a main transmission line.

In southwest Utah, the power department for St. George prepared for even hotter temperatures with little relief during the overnight hours.

“When we have several days that are going to be in excess of 110 degrees, which is what we’re expecting this week, the system itself that serves the entire county is going to be stressed,” said Rene Fleming with the St. George Energy Department.

To avoid outages and encourage conservation, the city and Dixie Power have implemented a new, color-coded system to alert residents about the level of strain on the electric system.

Under the “Use Less, Save More” program, residents will be alerted daily as to what level of conservation is needed, using green, orange or red.

“If it saves money on your power bill, it’s good for you,” Fleming said. “If it also helps limit the stress on the grid, it’s good for all of us.”

Fleming said orange days were expected this week.

Under the orange level, residents have been asked to grill outside, instead of turning on their indoor oven, and to avoid using large appliances during the afternoon and evening hours.

“Particularly during the peak hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., we’d really like people to curb their electric use,” Fleming said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Weather

Fourth of July weekend is approaching, and most of the United States will see rain chances through ...
Payton Major and Monica Garrett, CNN

Rain will be a big part of this holiday weekend, impacting flights and fireworks displays

Fourth of July weekend is approaching, and most of the United States will see rain chances through Monday.
7 days ago
Utah's state Route 24 on June 23, 2022. (NPS)...
Larry D. Curtis

Flood watch over popular Utah recreation areas Sunday

A flood watch is in effect over central southern Utah, through Sunday night, as thunderstorms create potentially dangerous conditions.
11 days ago
...
Andrew Adams

Fast-moving, powerful thunderstorms catch some Utahns by surprise

A round of fast-moving thunderstorms battered the south end of the Salt Lake Valley during the evening commute Thursday, catching drivers and homeowners by surprise.
14 days ago
(NWS Salt Lake City)...
Madison Swenson, KSL TV

Strong tornado touched down in eastern Utah over weekend, NWS confirms

An EF-2, or strong, tornado occurred Sunday morning near the summit of U.S. Route 191 in remote southwestern Duchesne County, according to preliminary information from the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
15 days ago
A family collects their goods  before leaving their submerged home after flash floods at Goainghat ...
Swati Gupta and Esha Mitra, CNN

Heavy rain, floods and lightning leave dozens dead in India, Bangladesh

At least 84 people have died in landslides, lightning strikes and flash floods across India and Bangladesh in the past week, according to officials in both countries.
16 days ago
...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Power shutoff watch issued for portion of Iron County

Rocky Mountain Power on Friday issued a public safety power shutoff watch for a portion of Iron County due to high winds and dangerous wildfire conditions.
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah Voters 50+ Support Increased Access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Peak Demand Hits Utah’s Power Grid During Heat Wave