El Paso Electric Interview: Summer 2019, Energy Efficiency, and Meeting Future Demand
- Oct 25, 2019 3:18 pm GMT
This item is part of the Energy Efficiency - Fall 2019 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more
I thought the summer would never end this year in El Paso, Texas. I was wrong, of course, fall is here and those 100 plus days shouldn’t be returning until June. With the region’s most grid-challenging season over, I thought I’d reach out to our utility, El Paso Electric (EPE), to find out how we made it through without any blackouts and what the future holds in this ever hotter, ever more populated desert region.
George De La Torre, the utility’s Manager of Strategic Communications and Community Engagement, got back to me with some interesting info on the company and El Paso’s energy needs, and was quick to answer my follow up questions. From the information he sent me, it was made clear how much work EPE has had the past 20 years and will continue to have moving forward. As the region has grown substantially, refrigerated air has largely replaced swamp coolers and summers have continued to get hotter, peak demand in the summers continues to climb. This past summer was no exception to the trend: On August 26th, a new record was set, beating out the previous high from June 2017 by 50 megawatts.
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