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In the midst of this heat wave, Ozarks residents are beating the heat by staying inside in the air conditioning. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe spoke with Springfield City Utilities about what the utility does to ensure that the power stays on.
With the heavy usage of electricity as residents and businesses crank up the air conditioning, there's the threat of a power system overload. Thanks to the new John Twitty Energy Center in southwest Springfield, an overload appears unlikely. Mark Viguet is the Director of Marketing and Communications for City Utilities.
“When you get these severe weather patterns, hot or cold, it can stress the mechanical equipment. And so our job and our priority one at this time is monitoring those systems and making sure they stay online. We do have plenty of power available, and of course a new generating unit just went online last fall. So that definitely provides somewhat of a cushion,” he said.
Viguet says that while power levels are fine at the moment, that doesn’t mean problems are out of the question. He says it’s up to residents to monitor their power usage responsibly.
“Keep your house comfortable, but also at a level that is tolerable for you without maybe being extremely cold,” he said.
Viguet says CU tries to stay ahead of demand.
“One of the main jobs at city utilities here is to plan for the future, is to look at forecasts for growth, is to look at past weather patterns, potential future weather patterns, and of course both of the things, the growth on the system and the weather patterns can be difficult to predict,” he said.
On August 2nd, City Utilities established a new peak demand record for electric usage. Between three and four p.m., electrical demand reached 792 megawatt hours, surpassing a previous peak of 772 megawatt hours in August of 2010. For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.