Bonneville Power Administration summer records for electricity use fell repeatedly this past week, as a heat wave settled over the Pacific Northwest.
The previous summer peak of 7,861 megawatts was set in July 2014.
During the past week BPA’s customers consumed 8,048 megawatts on Tuesday, 8,226 megawatts on Wednesday and 8,208 megawatts on Thursday. One megawatt can power an estimated 700 to 1,000 Northwest homes.
Information for Friday and Saturday was not available.
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Electricity use has increased in recent summers as more air conditioners are installed in Northwest buildings.
BPA prepared for the heat wave by delaying routine-maintenance activities, ensuring the turbines in federal dams were optimized for power generation and working closely with Columbia Generating Station, Energy Northwest’s nuclear plant near Richland.
Energy Northwest also delayed some maintenance to make sure its nuclear plant could operate at 100 percent power.
BPA transmission crews kept in contact with firefighters as wildland fires across the region threatened transmission lines. So far, problems on the transmission system have been kept to a minimum, according to BPA.
Much of the electricity used in the Tri-City area comes from BPA.