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SDGE prepares to meet increased demand as temperatures rise

Company says it is prepared for climate change
sdge powerline power line
Posted at 7:49 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 10:49:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - SDG&E says the company is ready to meet increased demand over the next few decades, as temperatures rise across California.

According to a recent climatology study, the number of days in San Diego where the heat index will top 100 degrees is expected to jump to 4 per year by 2050. The study says it will be at 7 per year by 2100. By contrast, historically, San Diego has averaged less than one day per year above 100 degrees.

That means more people will turn to air conditioners and fans to keep cool, creating more demand for energy throughout the year.

"This is one of our top priorities," says SDG&E Communications Director Denice Menard. "We know the summertime surge is coming."

Menard says SDG&E engineers have run thousands of simulations to test the power grid. The company has also invested heavily in solar and wind turbine energy to increase supply.

Menard also says the new 15-mile transmission line from Sycamore to Penasquitos will help deliver energy to areas that need it. And a new synchronous condenser in the North County will help manage surges in demand.

"There have been so many preparations and simulations done by our engineers," Menard says. "We’ve done everything we can to make sure we’re prepared and that San Diego is safe and can beat the heat."

SDG&E is also looking to their customers for help. The company hopes their new Time of Use plans will encourage people to avoid energy use from 4-9 pm, when the temperatures are highest and more people are home. That should lower demand during the peak part of the day.

The company's website also has information on how to decrease energy use throughout the year.