Arizona public power utility Salt River Project delivered a multi-day record peak electricity demand surpassing previous records for most power served to customers in summer, it said on Aug. 1.
On July 18 between 4 and 5 p.m., SRP delivered its highest system peak demand of 8,163 megawatts. The two following days, July 19 and 20, both reached peaks over 8,000 MW.
SRP’s system peak from last year was 7,620 MW, which occurred on July 11, 2022, between 3 and 4 p.m. Power demand this summer exceeded the previous summer peak across 66 hours on 15 different days.
SRP attributes this strong increase in electricity demand to a series of extreme daytime temperatures consistently over 110 degrees, higher overnight temperatures and a growing number of Valley residents and businesses. The high temperature recorded on July 18 was 118 degrees.
“To meet record demand multiple days in a row requires a combination of all SRP’s power generation resources including natural gas and renewables,” said Pam Syrjala, SRP’s Director of Supply, Trading and Fuels. “We conduct careful planning throughout the year to ensure our ability to meet forecasted summer peak demand, including making sure we will have available operating reserves.”
During this high-demand period SRP deployed all available generation assets including reserve capacity resources, and on certain days also purchased energy from the regional market as backup support.
SRP carries more than 1,200 MW of operating reserve capacity resources, which can be called upon in circumstances when generation units are unexpectedly unavailable or when there are changes in the output of variable power resources such as solar energy.
“Residential and commercial customers also help us by participating in SRP’s demand response programs and reducing energy usage on the hottest days,” Syrjala added.