Hot weather warning issued; power companies prepare for high demand on grid

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 7:20 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - As the heat rises this week many of you will turn up those air conditioners, But that puts a strain on the power grid. The regional organization that keeps the grid working is expecting a big demand.

When the temperatures go up, that means many people will be cranking up the air conditioner. An organization called PJM makes sure the grid in our region is balanced. They regulate the flow of electricity through power lines and between utility companies. It’s a bit like your blood pressure, too high or too low, it can cause big problems.

PJM Executive Director Paul McGlynn says workers at their control centers coordinate the movement of electricity. They also ensure there’s enough power for the 13 states in their coverage area.

How does this relate to this weeks dangerous heat in Fort Wayne?

PJM issued a “hot weather alert” until Friday to help prepare local power companies for any problems on the power grid as millions of air conditioners hum. They’re working to prevent an overload, which would lead to widespread outages.

The heat alert shows a power use forecast, and the numbers are big. PJM says this is the power load they’re expecting across the region:

  • 144,500 MW on July 26
  • 150,700 MW on July 27
  • 152,800 MW on July 28

Friday will be close to reaching the peak demand expected all summer at 156,000 MW. PMJ says the grid has been shown to be reliable higher than that but it’s possible local power companies could ask you to reduce your energy consumption if too much is being used.