In the shadow of this week's record-breaking heat, Idaho Power customers passed a new milestone on July 12, with a record 3,245 megawatt peak-hour average system load. A statement from Idaho's largest utility said field irrigation and air conditioners going full tilt resulted in the new record, which broke the previous mark set in June 2008.
Mark Stokes, Idaho Power's manager of power supply planning, said the utility's new Langley Gulch Power Plant helped satisfy the record electricity demand. The New Plymouth facility went online June 29.
“Langley Gulch has come online at the perfect time to help us meet some of the highest loads we have seen in several years, including (Thursday’s) record demand,” said Stokes.
During Thursday’s peak demand at 4 p.m., the Langley Gulch plant was producing 275 MW of power while all of the wind turbines currently on Idaho Power’s system, representing nearly 500 MW of capacity, were generating 14 MW.