PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--APS knows what it takes to power an Arizona summer. The utility never stops planning to ensure the energy grid is ready with enough electricity and redundancy in place to continue to provide reliable electricity to its customers.
This was the topic of today’s annual summer preparedness briefing at the Arizona Corporation Commission. The plan’s highlights include:
- Hardening the Grid – APS performs predictive maintenance throughout the year, using infrared equipment to locate “hot spots” on the APS system. These hot spots can be indicators of wearing out infrastructure. APS crews then further inspect the equipment and replace components as needed. Crews also have used the cooler months to install more steel poles as “stopper poles.” This helps prevent longer stretches of poles coming down during high monsoon winds.
- Prepared to Meet Energy Demands – APS is forecasting a summer peak of 6,986 megawatts (MW). With nearly 8,500 MW of power available to serve customers, APS is well prepared to meet its customer’s energy demands during the hottest days of the year.
- Powering Customers with Clean Energy – The energy serving customers this summer is cleaner than ever before. The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has been the nation’s largest power producer for 24 years running, and it provides 80 percent of Arizona’s carbon-free energy. APS also is deploying more natural gas and less coal. And, the utility now has around 1,300 MW of renewable energy on the system. The solar plants from the APS AZ Sun Program are especially helpful; using panels that track the sun, these plants operate between 80 to 90 percent of their full capacity on late summer afternoons.
“We are ready to deliver the extraordinary amount of power it takes to keep the lights on and the air conditioners running during a hot Arizona summer,” said Pat Dinkel, APS Vice President of Transmission and Distribution Operations. “Our crews know our customers rely on energy to power their lives. We do our job to ensure there is reliable power flowing to their homes and businesses. And, if the power does go out, we want to make sure our customers know that we have crews working through the night to repair damage and get the lights back on.”
Last summer, APS customers experienced the highest wind-, rain- and lightning-related outages in five years. In fact, the summer saw the second wettest May and the second hottest August on record. In total, APS lost 568 power poles. But the utility took the lessons learned and immediately put them to practice, building a stronger, faster, smarter grid for the benefit of APS customers.
“While promising no outages is outside of our control, we are heading into another Arizona summer well-prepared,” Dinkel said. “Summer is our season.”
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).