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Kansas Power Plants, Grid Ready For Extreme Heat

Todd PittengerJuly 19, 2022

The largest power provider in Kansas says it has sufficient power to meet anticipated demand as forecasts call for multiple days this week with at or near 100-degree temperatures.

According to Evergy, no public appeals have been made for electricity conservation.

“Our system is reliable. We have had relatively few outages this summer related to the extreme heat, and we are not seeing an increased number of outages,” said Chuck Caisley senior vice president and chief customer officer. “We invest hundreds of millions of dollars to update and maintain our electrical grid to ensure reliability into the future.”

Evergy’s continued investment in power grid modernization will help ensure that power is delivered to homes and businesses. A diverse power supply including wind, nuclear, fossil fuels and solar, helps provide for a reliable supply of electricity during times of high demand. Evergy performs seasonal maintenance work on its power plants and transmission system during the mild weather of spring and fall to help ready them to meet customer needs during the hot summer months, when air conditioning creates high demand for electricity. In addition, forward-looking preparation and established contracts help provide for fuel availability at competitive prices.

By investing in power grid modernization and predictive maintenance programs, Evergy has reduced the frequency and length of customer outages. Predictive maintenance can signal a piece of equipment needs to be replaced before it causes an outage. Sensors and special closures help pinpoint outage locations and isolate the area impacted to restore power faster.

The power grid has thousands of mechanical parts that can be affected by extreme weather, wildlife and normal wear and tear on the equipment. Excessive heat puts additional stress on these parts causing occasional equipment failures that cause power outages for customers. Frequently, Evergy reroutes power through other lines to restore service quickly while crews make repairs to the damaged equipment. However, during times of extremely high use, this option may not be available because the lines are already carrying as much power as they can.

Customers are encouraged to have a safety plan in place in case of a power outage. With the extreme heat, finding a cool place to go during a power outage may be a safer option. Customers may sign up online at evergy.com/alerts for email and text updates when an outage is impacting their service.

Ways to save at home

High temperatures can cause air conditioners to work overtime trying to keep up. Avoiding or delaying the use of heat-producing appliances can help keep homes comfortable. In addition, closing curtains or blinds to reduce the heat from the sun will help reduce cooling needs. More energy saving tips are available at evergy.com/energyefficiency.

Southwest Power Pool in Conservative Operations

Evergy is a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which helps coordinate power generation and transmission access over parts of the Midwest. The SPP is in Conservative Operations noon to 10 p.m., Monday, which signals to its member utilities to institute practices that help ensure generation and transmission facilities are available and members are coordinating to meet customers’ needs. This may include a wide range of preparation from increasing staff to preparing plants designed for peak use to generate.  From Monday evening through Thursday evening, SPP will reduce the advisory level to a Resource Advisory. Neither Resource Advisory nor Conservative Operations requires asking customers to reduce their use.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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