Thursday, July 21, 2011

Smokin' Hot


"She's gonna blow, Captain!"

DTE just went to rolling blackouts in Ferndale, which was already suffering from scattered outages. Consumers is asking people to reduce power usage if at all possible. The Heat Warning runs through Friday night, when we should start to moderate back down.

Consumers Energy is asking its 1.8 million electric customers to reduce their power use because of the heat wave that has gripped Michigan for days.

The Jackson-based utility says temperatures in the 90s and high humidity have pushed up the customer demand for electricity to near-record levels on its system.

Examples: turn off the lights, don't run the dishwasher or other high-energy appliances until after 8pm, don't open the fridge so much because nothing's changed since the last time you looked in there an hour ago, and turn up the air conditioner temperature a few degrees for Pete's sake before you blackout the entire country.

Actually, I'm surprised our decrepit grid is holding up as well as it is, considering we aren't the only state that is sucking down record levels of juice right now.

Keep cool. By Monday this is over, and we are back to your regularly-scheduled hot summer weather.

Update: Consumers is now asking for an immediate reduction in usage, and an energy conservation alert has been placed by the regional Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator. Consumers is looking at a record day. Usage peaks from 4-7pm, here are the numbers:

On a typical day, the Jackson-based utility sees a peak usage of about 5,000 megawatts, today they are at 8,300 megawatts, Holyfield said.

The all-time record was 8,883 megawatts on Aug. 6, 2006, where temperatures and the humidity that day and that week were similar to what residents across the state are experiencing now.

So, when we are talking about 200MW wind farms, you now have an idea of what a regular baseload day is like. And that's only Consumers. It's why we can't just turn off all the coal and nukes, as nice as that would be. Gonna take lots of wind and sun to replace that kind of power.