Chair of Arizona utility regulators says power grid in shape for summer
PHOENIX – The head of the Arizona state agency that regulates public utilities said power grid operators are prepared for the demands hot weather will bring, especially in metro Phoenix.
“We know it’s a life-and-death situation as we get into the hottest part of the summer,” Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday.
“This is something our commission has been focused on. We have been hosting summer preparedness meetings, energy reliability meetings, just really ensuring that Arizonans have the energy we need.”
The commission oversees Arizona Public Service – the largest electricity provider in the state – along with Tucson Electric Power and 400 water utilities, Marquez Peterson said.
“Our utilities come to us with their plans about every 3 years with a 15-year outlook. They’ve been preparing for this. They’re looking at different resources not only in Arizona but throughout the western region.”
The influx of new businesses and people in Maricopa County will become part of that planning and many are requesting clean or renewable energy, Marquez Peterson said.
But keeping up with the crush of development is something to keep an eye on, she added.
The bottom line is, “We’re making sure that we have reliability as our No. 1 priority as well as affordability as we continue to grow in the Phoenix area.”
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