© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

EWEB says it's prepared for high energy demand during coming heat wave

The Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River is managed by the BPA. EWEB gets 80% of its energy from BPA.
Bruce Calkins
The Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River is managed by the BPA. EWEB gets 80% of its energy from BPA.

The heat wave affecting the northwest will put pressure on local utilities to meet higher power demand. Eugene Water & Electric Board says it’s prepared.

EWEB spokesperson Aaron Orlowski said they’re confident they have sufficient power to meet the increased demand.

“What we’ve done is make sure our flexible generating resources, so those ones that we can call on, on demand, are ready to go,” he said. “And that includes our Carmen Smith project up the McKenzie River Valley, and our portion of the federal hydropower system that we’re able to manage.”

Orlowski said customers can also help relieve pressure on the power grid by timing their energy use to avoid peak periods such as late afternoon and early evening, when demand is highest.

“If you can adjust the thermostat setting on your air conditioner a little bit, bring it up a couple degrees, especially during those late afternoon, early evening hours, that’ll help trim energy usage,” he said.

Orlowski also recommends delaying doing laundry or running the dishwasher until overnight or early morning hours, which also helps ease pressure on the power grid. And if you have an Electric Vehicle, charge that overnight.

Orlowski said a recent assessment by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation shows the northwest has sufficient power to meet energy demands for the present.

But Orlowski said, as heat waves grow more frequent and weather grows more extreme, EWEB and other utilities will need to build additional electricity generation facilities to keep up with demand.

If they don’t do so in the next 20 years, industry studies say, electricity shortfalls could occur, leading to rolling blackouts.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
Related Content