The Power Of Heat

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

It's never a good time to be without power especially when it's hot. Much like we need a break from the heat to keep going, our electricity needs a break from the heat.

When the sun goes down, facilities like a power substation get a chance to cool down. But when it’s this hot and humid, it doesn't get a break. Wednesday morning Michael Nelson woke up to no power.

“The power went out at 7:30 this morning. At first I wasn't concerned because it turned off and went back off again,” Nelson said.

But the power turned off again and this time it stayed off.

“When I knew it was gonna be a 100 today I started worrying because I didn't know how long it was gonna be out,” Nelson said.

He did what he could to keep the house cool, closing blinds, keeping the sun out.

"The heat in the system continues to build. And as it built it increases the potential for breakdowns and outages,” OPPD Spokesperson Mike Jones said.

Jones says this morning's outage in Elkhorn was caused by a bad underground cable and he says the heat is to blame.

"During this type of weather when you've got a lot of people using air conditioning and cooling devices. It increases the flow of electricity through our system and through our equipment and that causes it to heat up,” Jones said.

Back at nelson's home, things are cooling down.

“It feels great, the air conditioning is blowing, we have the fans going and we're cooling off again,” Nelson said.

OPPD said this is its peak season and they try to prepare for it. Which means you should too. In case of a power outage have plenty of water and batteries on hand.

Since OPPD is keeping Fort Calhoun offline this summer there a need to buy power generated anywhere else.

But Jones said that’s standard practice. Tuesday they ran off 86% self generated energy, 14% purchased from other sites. The amount of generation is based on need and cost.

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