By BRAD KELLAR
Customers of the local electric utility system appear to be closely monitoring their thermostats.
Despite school being back in session, and even with temperatures still approaching the triple digits each afternoon, officials with GEUS said the utility will not be setting any new records for electric usage this summer, according to Consumer Services Manager Jimmy Dickey.
“The 110 megawatts peak we set on August 7, that looks like it is going to be the high for the year,” Dickey said.
Greenville saw a high of 106 degrees that day, which is the highest temperature locally this year. Even so, the demand did not come close to the utility’s record peak usage of electricity of 121 megawatts set in August 2011.
GEUS set a demand of 108 megawatts on August 30 of this year, when Greenville recorded an official high of 104 degrees.
“But it doesn’t appear we are going to get back to 110 megawatts this year, unless something really strange happens,” Dickey said.
A 118 megawatt record demand was set by GEUS during August 2010.
The record peaks are usually set during August, as that is when not only do the temperatures soar during the afternoons, but don’t drop below the 80s during the overnight hours.
In June 2010, GEUS officials dedicated and put into operation the Tom Darte Energy Center, a 25 megawatts power plant adjacent to the steam plant on Power Lane in far north Greenville. The facility is used to provide electricity during times of peak local demand, and at a lower cost than GEUS had been paying.