August 8, 2007
A statewide network of high-voltage power lines and substations that transmits power to 39 electric cooperatives was up to the test again this year when a new peak electricity record of 8,840 megawatts (MW) was set Tuesday, according to officials at Georgia Transmission Corp.
The one-hour peak record set from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. exceeded the previous all-time peak of 8,630 MW on Monday and last year’s record, 8,420 MW, set Aug. 7. Georgia Transmission builds and maintains high-voltage power lines and substations for 39 of the state’s 42 electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) which serve more than 4 million Georgians in 157 of the state’s 159 counties. The state expects this year’s peak demand for all utilities to reach 28,813 MWs.
“Population growth, rising per-capita energy demand and high temperatures all contribute to record-setting electric demand,” said Mike Smith, Georgia Transmission’s CEO. “So far our system has been up to the challenge, and we have not had to call for significant load-shedding or emergency conservation efforts in any part of the state. Our employees are monitoring substation performance and redistributing power as needed. We are also doing contingency planning with EMCs in areas where substations are close to reaching maximum capacity.”
Since more hot days are expected this week, the record is likely to be broken again. Georgia Transmission owns and maintains about 2,800 miles of the state’s 17,500 miles of transmission lines, and its lines transmit about one-third of the power in the state. EMCs use separate networks of distribution power lines to serve homes, businesses and other customers. The company builds an average of 70 miles of transmission lines and 20 substations each year to keep pace with rising population growth and per capita use.
“As one of the fastest growing states, our cities and towns would be at greater risk of brownouts and blackouts if we did not build the new lines and substations needed to meet rising demand,” said Smith. “These days should remind us that we’re all connected by a single grid of transmission lines, and we all benefit from new power lines that keep our grid strong.”
Contact: Craig Heighton
Phone: (770) 270-7552