APS is well positioned to meet the energy needs of its customers this summer, company officials told the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) today.
This message was part of APS’s annual summer preparedness briefing to the ACC. The presentation included this summer’s peak demand forecast, an inventory of available resources to serve that demand, a summary of APS’s system improvements, and the steps the company has taken to prepare for wildfires and other emergencies.
“One of our most important jobs each year is to make sure the APS system is ready when the summer heat arrives,” said Daniel Froetscher, APS Vice President of Energy Delivery. “We invest in the electricity grid, secure an ample supply of power for even the hottest days, and prepare in advance for storms, wildfires and other events that can cause power outages. When outages do occur, our top priority is to get the lights back on quickly and safely, while communicating regularly with our customers about our efforts to restore the power.”
In preparation for meeting the needs of its customers this summer, APS in 2011 invested about $250 million in system improvements. This included more than 40 miles of new and rebuilt power lines and the construction of seven new substations throughout the company’s service territory.
This summer, APS anticipates a peak of 7,067 megawatts (MW), compared with the 2011 summer peak of 7,087 MW, which occurred on Aug. 24, during the hottest monsoon season ever recorded in the Valley. Between its existing generation, and long- and short-term contracts, APS has 8,696 MW of resources available to help meet summer demand.
The all-time APS system peak of 7,236 MW was set on July 21, 2006. (The summer peak – the 15-minute period when APS customers require the most energy – typically occurs in July or August between 5 and 6 p.m.)
APS successfully met peak demand in 2011 while providing its 1.1 million customers with record high levels of reliability. For the year, the typical customer experienced 0.79 power outages compared to a national industry median of 1.12 interruptions. Meanwhile, the typical customer experienced 69 minutes of interrupted service in 2011, compared with an industry median of 114 minutes. Both marks are records and fall within or near the top quartile of the industry.
In the event of large-scale customer outages, the company utilizes its Twitter outage feed, @APSOutageCenter, to provide real-time updates to its customers and other key audiences.
The state’s other major electric utilities also made presentations to the ACC.