Heat wave leading to record-setting summer energy usage in Portl - KPTV - FOX 12

Heat wave leading to record-setting summer energy usage in Portland area

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The heat wave has led to record-setting summer energy usage in the Portland area.

Portland General Electric customers set a new summer record for emergency demand Thursday.

The new mark was 3,876 megawatts net system load, which occurred at 6 p.m. The temperature at the time was 105 degrees at Portland International Airport.

The all-time PGE record that occurred in the winter still stands, with 4,073 megawatts on Dec. 21, 1998. It was 16 degrees in Portland that day.

Traditionally, according to PGE, Portland-area customers have used more electricity during the winter than in the summer, but agency workers said that appears to be shifting.

More PGE customers now have air conditioning than in the past. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 70 percent of homes in the area currently have some form of air conditioning.

Fans of all sizes also add to the load on the system.

The Bonneville Power Administration reported a similar trend this week. BPA’s prior record for peak summertime electricity consumption was broken three days in a row from Tuesday through Thursday.

Wednesday was the highest, as BPA customers consumed 8,226 megawatts that day.

For reference, according to BPA, 1 megawatt can power an estimated 700 northwest homes or 1,200 megawatts can power an entire city the size of Seattle.

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