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July 13, 2012
New Record Peak For Electricity Demand
BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho Power and its customers reached a new milestone yesterday with a record 3,245 megawatt (MW) overall peak-hour average system load; the company prevented the peak from growing any larger by dispatching approximately 65 MW of its demand response programs. A string of 100-degree-plus days culminated in yesterday’s record as irrigators took to the fields and air conditioners were pressed into service. Yesterday’s usage tops the previous record of 3,214 MW from June 2008.
Idaho Power’s new Langley Gulch Power Plant helped satisfy the record electricity demand during this week’s triple-digit heat, including Thursday, when temperatures in Boise reached 108 degrees. The 300-MW natural gas-fired plant near New Plymouth, Idaho, went into commercial production on June 29.
“Langley Gulch has come online at the perfect time to help us meet some of the highest loads we have seen in several years, including yesterday’s record demand” said Mark Stokes, Idaho Power’s Manger of Power Supply Planning.
Idaho Power experiences its highest demand during the summer months, when air conditioners and irrigation pumps add to everyday electrical usage. An increase in customer growth over the past year has added to that demand.
From the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012, Idaho Power added 5,240 general business customers in its service area – roughly double the second-quarter growth of the previous two years. Residential customers grew by 4,155 from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012 – also significantly higher than the growth seen in the two previous years.
The need for Langley Gulch was first included in Idaho Power’s long-term resource plan in 2004, and construction began in 2009. Although some questioned the need for a new power resource at the time, the increasing customer base and this week’s conditions underscore the long-term need for an additional resource like Langley Gulch.
During yesterday’s peak demand at 4 p.m., the Langley Gulch plant was producing 275 MW of much-needed power while all of the wind turbines currently on Idaho Power’s system, representing nearly 500 MW of capacity, were generating 14 MW. Additionally the company dispatched its demand response programs at the same time.
About Idaho Power Company:
Idaho Power began operations in 1916. Today, the electric utility employs approximately 2,000 people who serve nearly 500,000 customers throughout a 24,000-square-mile area in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects as the core of its generation portfolio, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest rates for electricity. IDACORP, Inc. (NYSE: IDA) is the investor-owned utility’s parent company based in Boise, Idaho. To learn more, visit www.idahopower.com or www.idacorpinc.com.
Contact: Stephanie McCurdy
208-388-6973 and SMcCurdy@idahopower.com
1-800-458-1443 media line