SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Utah’s power grid stressed but no rolling blackouts necessary, RMP says

Sep 7, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Sep 8, 2022, 11:28 am
A man works on a power pole, RMP just reported a power outage in salt lake city...
Thousands of customers have been affected by a power outage in Salt Lake City. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — How is Utah’s power grid holding up amid the heat? Utah’s largest provider of power, Rocky Mountain Power, says Utah’s system is “stressed” but Utah is not on the brink of any rolling blackouts like California is experiencing.

“California is not generating enough power. It’s a power supply and conservation issue,” said Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Tiffany Erickson. “Our issue would be our system is stressed.”

Erickson said that the stress on the power grid is coming from all the demand amid the constant, triple-digit temperatures. And the fact that temperatures aren’t dipping below 70 degrees overnight. When temperatures don’t cool overnight, according to Erickson, the system doesn’t have a chance to rest.

That means localized outages are always possible.

“That’s why it’s really important to keep up those maintenance schedules. And make any repairs immediately when needed, and that daily evaluation (of the system),” she said.

Erickson also said that Utah is somewhat insulated from a situation like California’s lack of power. Because their parent company, Pacificorp, is “the largest grid owner and operator in the West.” They serve six states and generate power from multiple different sources.

“Because of that…Utah customers benefit from being a part of this really diverse grid…with a large portfolio of generation options and transfer capabilities.”

Still, Erickson, says it’s always a good idea to conserve energy as much as possible during these unseasonably high temperatures.

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