Cold spell affecting power companies

Electricity demand has been high in the West and Rocky Mountain Power recently encouraged its customers to begin reducing their electricity consumption as much as possible through below freezing weather. Friday Logan City Power and Light Director Jeff White talked about electricity demands in the city. “Our typical winter peak for Logan City is about 75 megawatts maximum and we’re about 72 megawatts right now during this cold spell,” said White. “With what we planned as the worst case for this winter we’re still three megawatts away from that. We’ll probably hit 75 megawatts in January or February sometime.” White said Logan City is in good shape buying power until 2016, and possibly beyond that, depending on what happens with climate change legislation and other issues. “We continually monitor what’s available on the market to try to keep our purchasing costs down, which keeps our rates down. We have some really good resources in the state where we buy our power. We’re part owners in some of them and we have options to buy the least cost resources available.” Logan buys power from various sources, most of them coal-fired power plants. “In Southern Utah there is the IPP project near Delta,” said White, “and the Hunter Power Plant in Emery County. We have a contract for 15 megawatts of power out of Deseret Generation Transmission near Vernal. We also have part of the Colorado River Storage Project power at Glen Canyon Dam.” White said Logan City is also part owner of a gas-fired power plant in Payson in addition to Logan’s internal generation with small hydros and gas turbines on 300 South. White worked for Utah Power for over 29 years and has been on the job in Logan for 20 months. Mayor Randy Watts has expressed confidence in White because of the money-saving measures he has taken. “We made a decision to stick with the existing 46,000 volt transmission system throughout the city,” White said. “When I joined Logan City the proposal was to scrap that whole system and go with a 138KV system, similar to the size of the line that Rocky Mountain Power built on 1800 North. “I felt that would be very intrusive to many people, such as on Canyon Road where they have the transmission polls that would have to be changed out in favor of much bigger profile polls. We came up with an option to install a second 46,000 volt loop system out west of town so we could divide the loads.” White said Logan City power users can help in the city’s ongoing effort to save money and hold power rates down. “If they have an option when they use electric power,” he said, “we encourage them to use it during early mornings or late evening hours rather than afternoons or early evenings when peak occurs.”

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