Peak Demand And The Arizona Power Grid 101
Higher than normal summer temperatures in much of Arizona are a key factor in the recent rise in demand for electrical power. So far, utility companies are able to keep up, primarily because electricity in the state is generated through a mix of sources — nuclear and hydroelectric power, coal, natural gas and some solar power. Fulton Schools Professor Vijay Vittal, a power systems expert, explains how the array of power systems are managed to help prevent shortages and potential blackouts. Generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is closely coordinated to help maintain an adequate supply of power. Still, Vittal points out, events such as wildfires and a surge in the use of residential power because of the COVID-19 pandemic can put stresses on the systems and threaten the smooth functioning of power grids.