PHOENIX — The state’s top utility companies are warning about future summers and the chance there won’t be enough electricity to go around.
A number of obstacles are keeping them from planning for power demands years into the future, according to comments provided Wednesday at the Arizona Corporation Commission.
“The region is tight with respect to system constraints. The resources that are expected to come online are not coming online on time. They’re delayed,” said Bobby Olson of SRP.
SRP is confident about their ability to handle projected peak demand this summer and in 2023, but beyond that they are concerned.
Arizona power companies blame supply chain issues, delays in solar industry manufacturing, and wildfires that threaten transmission lines, among other challenges, according to comments provided during the meeting.
The state’s two largest utilities assured regulators they have plans in place should the summer be hotter than anticipated.
“What I will say is we have been able to secure the necessary resources to get there,” Olson said.
“APS has the resources needed to serve customers this summer,” said Kent Walter of APS.
According to the Arizona Corporation Commission, both power companies report having a “reserve margin” of about 15% power capacity compared to what’s expected to be peak demand this summer.
During a crisis, power companies can also borrow from other states.
Factors expected to test the power grid in the future include increased demand in Maricopa County due to population growth, more heat extremes happening more often due to climate change and extreme drought that is threatening to cut off power from the Glen Canyon Dam generating station and lessen power generation from the Hoover Dam.
Arizona’s utilities also assured Commissioners Wednesday they have plans in place if a crisis hits the grid.
“We have coordinated a number of drills related to physical emergency contingency events to cyber contingency events,” Walter said.
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