PHOENIX – The Arizona Corporation Commission hosted its annual Summer Preparedness meeting on April 27th to hear from the state’s largest electricity providers about their plans to ensure peak demand can be met during the hot summer months this year. The Commission heard presentations from Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP), UNS Electric, Inc. (UNS), Salt River Project (SRP), and Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO).
APS is forecasting a peak summer demand of 7,881 Mega Watts (MW) and is carrying a reserve margin of 1,156 MW. TEP and UNS are forecasting a peak summer demand of 3,038 MW and are carrying a reserve margin of 480 MW. SRP is forecasting a peak summer demand of 7,790 MW and is carrying a reserve margin of 1,195 MW. AEPCO is forecasting a peak summer demand of 722 MW.
All utilities stated that they have sufficient capacity and contingencies in place to meet the projected peak demand this coming summer. All have plans prepared should the summer be hotter than anticipated and are well prepared to handle potential emergencies due to weather conditions.
However, all companies stated that while they are well positioned to handle demand in 2022, the future beyond this summer is not as certain. This is due to myriad factors, including: supply chain issues, railroad delays, lack of construction of new power plants in the West, delays in the solar industry resulting in developers being unable to deliver projects on time, wildfires threatening critical transmission infrastructure, a declining ability to import power because of increased competition for a limited supply, and drought conditions placing a strain on existing hydro-electric generation.