Energy companies prep for high demand

Even before summer officially began, parts of Kansas and Missouri saw the year’s first heat wave stress an electrical grid nearly consumed by a cold snap just a few months ago.

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June 25, 2021 - 10:32 AM

Utilities will face a strain on the electrical grid as peak summer season approaches, but forecasts say the Midwest has enough power. (TIM CARPENTER/KANSAS REFLECTOR)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even before summer officially began, parts of Kansas and Missouri saw the year’s first heat wave stress an electrical grid nearly consumed by a cold snap just a few months ago. 

Earlier this month, as air conditioners worked overtime to keep up with peak temperatures in the 90s, the Southwest Power Pool, which manages electricity across 14 states from Louisiana to Wyoming, issued a resource alert, telling utilities it was experiencing high usage, though it didn’t expect shortages. 

And Evergy, for the first time this year, activated its “Energy Savings Events,” raising the temperatures slightly in participating customers’ homes. It’s the first time since rolling blackouts in February that customers have been alerted to strain on the grid.

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