For the first time in four years, Idaho Power recorded a new all-time peak demand on Friday, July 7. On that day, total demand reached 3,422 megawatts (MW) between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
That’s a jump from the previous high mark of 3,407 MW set July 2, 2013.
Idaho Power is a summer-peaking utility; the company’s highest demand in the summer months when irrigation pumps and air-conditioners add to the regular demand for electricity.
The company’s electrical system was up to the task of serving the high demand, thanks to ample water driving the hydro system, thermal resources (including two gas-fired peaker plants near Mountain Home) and adequate transmission capacity to bring in purchased power, said Ben Brandt, Load Serving Operations Director.
The new record likely would have been set the previous day, but the company dispatched its largest demand-response program, Irrigation Peak Rewards, on that day. This program provides a credit to irrigators who voluntarily allow Idaho Power to turn off pumps during extreme peak electricity usage.