PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Summer is the season APS prepares for all year long. With nearly 35,000 square miles of service territory, APS has employees all over the state who work year-round to ensure customer power needs are met. Over the last year, APS has worked to modernize the grid with advanced technologies, completed multiple high-voltage transmission projects to further improve reliability and introduced new ways for customers to get important information. At today’s annual summer preparedness briefing at the Arizona Corporation Commission, the company described these innovations brought forth in 2016.
With a forecasted summer peak load of 7,023 megawatts (MW), a strong and well-maintained grid infrastructure will continue to prove critically important. Last year, three 500-kilovolt (kV) power lines went into service in the northwest valley to ensure greater reliability for customers. This year, the construction of the Morgan to Sun Valley 500-kV line will help to complete this loop of extra high voltage transmission power lines around the valley. This infrastructure also allows for increased access to a regional power market that helps provide customers with the most affordable energy available.
Next month, Daisy Mountain Substation, serving the Anthem area, will come online to help provide strong reliability for that growing population. Annual preventive maintenance performed over the last year by helicopter, foot, drone, car and all-terrain vehicle has helped to ensure that APS’s 35,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines are ready for another Arizona summer.
Advanced technologies such as high-efficiency microgrids and utility scale energy storage, brought into service in the past year, help benefit customers and the grid during peak times by increasing reliability and preventing disruptions and outages. The microgrid located within the Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma already has helped to secure power for customers during ten separate events since its December commissioning.
Earlier this year, APS made the switch to the Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS). ADMS is the digital platform APS uses to operate its distribution system. While still in the early stages of implementation, the system (used by both field crews and operators) has proven beneficial to improving outage response by introducing advanced mapping systems and technology that allow all parties to work seamlessly from the same screen to pinpoint the cause of an outage more quickly and precisely.
To give customers greater access to information regarding their account, the company launched its user-friendly mobile app and outage map last summer. Customers also have the option to receive text and email alerts on individual energy use, power outages and payment notifications. Additionally, customers have hundreds of available energy efficiency measures, such as smart thermostat and pool pump rebates, to help them manage and control their usage during the hot summer months and year-round.
“We have 2.7 million people depending on us to ensure their AC is running and their lights are on,” said Jacob Tetlow, APS Vice President of Transmission and Distribution Operations. “When we send a crew out to a storm-damaged power line, that one action is the culmination of 365 days of preparation. It’s also an action refined by 130 summers of operation in this state.
“This summer, we will take everything we have learned, and we will learn even more to deliver ever more reliable, cleaner and efficient energy to our customers.”
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, and owns and operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the country’s top power producer and largest producer of carbon-free energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).