Power companies keeping energy flowing during heat wave

With this week's heat wave continuing to boil residents of the Tri-Cities area, officials from the local power companies say the energy system is handling the extra demand. As of Thursday afternoon, the Grand Haven load was at about 68 megawatts, which Grand Haven Board of Light & Power Director of Production Jeff Chandler said was close to its peak. "Right now, we've got Grand Haven covered with about 3-4 megawatts to spare,' he said.
Alex Doty
Jul 22, 2011

The system typically peaks at 4 p.m., Chandler said, since that is when temperatures are hottest. On an average summer day, the load is about 58 megawatts, he added.

BLP Administrative Services Manager Renee Molyneux said to meet the demand for the municipal utility’s customers, the BLP uses both the J.B. Sims Generating Station on Harbor Island and the diesel plant on Harbor Drive.

“We do what we can to alleviate loads,” she said. “That’s why we have the diesel plant there.”

About 70-75 megawatts of power is produced between the two plants, Chandler said.

The BLP provides power to 13,500 customers in Grand Haven and the surrounding area. There are also customers in the region who are serviced by Consumers Energy.

“So far, our system is holding up pretty well,” Consumers Energy spokesperson Debra Dodd said. “Our demand has been pretty strong, but we’ve been able to meet it.”

Dodd said they are keeping their fingers crossed that the positive situation will continue.

Power experts also offer some advice for residents who might be wary of their next electric bill due to all of the air conditioning in use.

“One of the best things to do, I think, is to get a programmable thermostat,” Dodd said.

A programmable thermostat allows indoor cooling system temperatures to be set lower for when people are at home and higher when they are away, increasing energy efficiency.

Dodd also said residents can set their thermostat to 80 degrees when they go to work and it will still feel cool when they come home. People can close drapes facing the sun, close doors to rooms not in use and inspect the air conditioner unit to make sure there are no blockages.

Dodd said people should also check up on elderly friends and family, or those who are ill, to make sure they are beating the heat. She also said people should pay close attention to their pets to make sure they are safe.

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.