Thomasville breaks electricity record - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville breaks electricity record

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By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) – This extreme cold is leading to electricity records. The city of Thomasville broke a record for power usage Monday. But people running their heaters aren't the only reason for the spike in energy use.

Energy. The people of Thomasville are using a lot of it.

"Yesterday, we experienced probably a 9% increase in total megawatts. Our previous peak was 119 megawatts. Yesterday it was 129 megawatts," said Bruce Wittington.

A megawatt is equal to 1 million watts of energy. The average heating pad only uses 60 watts. Thomasville Electric Operations Director Bruce Wittington says the increase in usage isn't just a result of the extended cold.

"It peaks for two reasons. The cold primarily. But as consumers add appliances, they upgrade facilities, it increases load and then it shows itself during high consumption periods."

He says those high consumption periods are typically in the morning, when people are getting ready for the day. The cold weather only adds to it, as people turn up the thermostat to get rid of the wintry chill from overnight. But if too many people use their power at the same time...

"You'll have some outages due to transformers overloading, individual fuses overloading."

Wittington says if a transformer were to blow, they would be prepared with a large supply of back-up transformers.

"Those are pretty easily corrected, changed out or upgraded."

Fortunately for Thomasville, Wittington doesn't foresee any major problems with outages.

"There is no problem with our system becoming completely overloaded. Plenty of capacity available in Thomasville system. I don't think we'll see any catastrophic problems due to peak or load."

Which means you can keep that heating pad plugged in tonight.

Bruce Wittington says you can help your local power plants prevent possible outages by limiting your energy use during the peak hours between 6 am and 9 am.

 


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