KCUR News
2:21 pm
Fri June 26, 2009

Wheeew! Keeping On The Cooling

Kansas City, Mo. – In current culture, air conditioning becomes more than luxury when the temperature creeps up on a hundred. And it has, this final week of June. Massive amounts of electricity are being consumed with the region's excessive heat this week. And don't be surprised if your power blinks off for a few minutes from time to time.
It's due to a controlled variation on the 'brownout'..brought into play intentionally to avoid a real outage.
KCP and L has sold more power this week than any week so far this year.
That information comes from the utility's chief of distribution, Bill Herdegen. He says the heat stresses equipment and it has to be given a short break from use--
"and we shift things around so some of the customers might see ten minute outages here and there. a lot of times that's us kind of load balancing, shifting loads between stations."
The power use this week may be a record for the year, but nowhere near the 2006 summer, daytime high of 3 thousand 700 megawatts. It is difficult to compare current power peak usage with past statistics.
KCP and L absorbed parts of the Aquila system last year, increasing customers and coverage area. So a high daytime usage this week of fifty three hundred megawatts had no comparative meaning.
Ultimately though, Herdegen says the mini-planned outages customers might experience are supposed to keep the whole system healthy and air conditioners operating.