Arizona Public Service reassured customers Thursday that it's prepared to meet customer demand as summer heat and wildfires loom.
"With nearly 20,000 miles of overhead power lines around the state, the potential threat of wildfires to our system is very real to us," said Pat Dinkel, vice president of APS transmission and distribution operations.
The National Interagency Fire Center said conditions caused by a dry winter are expected to result in a rapid increase in wildfire potential in eastern Arizona beginning in May. Above-normal fire risk is expected for much of the Southwest United States in June and July, the agency said.
This summer, APS has forecast a peak of 6,992 megawatts, compared with the 2013 summer peak of 6,927 MW, which occurred on July 8, when the Phoenix high temperature reached 113 degrees.
APS said between its existing generation and power-supply contracts, it has 9,186 MW of resources available to help meet summer demand.
The summer peak - the 15-minute period when APS customers require the most energy - typically occurs in July or August between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The all-time APS system peak of 7,236 MW was set on July 21, 2006.
APS personnel are available 24 hours a day to assist customers and coordinate restoration efforts. In the event of large-scale customer outages, the company utilizes its Twitter feed, @apsFYI, to provide real-time updates to its customers and other key audiences.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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