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Impact of High Temperatures and KPUD’s Response

by Jul 01, 2021

With the consecutive record breaking high temperatures throughout the Northwest, Klickitat PUD wants to keep you informed. Weather, drought impacts, and power supply impact questions are on all of our minds.

With the consecutive record breaking high temperatures throughout the Northwest, Klickitat PUD wants to keep you informed. We strive to provide safe reliable service, but extreme temperatures can place added strain on the districts electric system as well as the systems of regional providers. In most years our summer temperatures do not peak until late July or August. KPUD’s peak load for June based on Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) data was recorded on June 28th and registered 88.91 MW.   To put this in perspective our June 2020 peak load was 73.75 MW. We also know from this, that our total June loads and customer billings will be significantly higher with cooling systems working double time.  KPUD staff works diligently to ensure that we have energy supply to meet customer needs; however, our largest energy source is BPA, which is a regional supplier for our neighboring counties and states as well. 

While many BPA customers could be impacted by BPA load shedding requirements during extreme conditions, BPA has informed us that we are not likely to be impacted.  However, temperature related equipment failures can and do happen, both on our system and BPA’s system.  Fortunately, power supply for our region is historically stable and we are not anticipating power supply shutdowns this year, although we are becoming increasingly concerned about supply in the coming years. However, should another wide spread event occur in the region, we will provide updated information at that time.  It is always a good idea to have bottled water, non-perishable easy to prepare food items, flashlights, extra batteries, a battery powered radio, and corded landline phone available in case of an emergency or unplanned outage.

Klickitat PUD has implemented additional safety precautions due to the high temperatures.  This ranges from modified work schedules to improve working conditions, targeted vegetation management, as well as installing additional safety equipment on lines within high fire danger zones.  KPUD always strives to restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible, but with the dry conditions we will focus on safety first.   In the event we have a widespread outage, we will be notifying customers utilizing our automated call system, so please ensure you have current contact information on file to receive outage notifications.

Customers are the key to trouble-shooting outages and improving response time.   Klickitat PUD asks that if you experience an outage please contact us immediately.  The more customer outages reported, the better we can predict the full extent of the outage and direct our crews accordingly.  In addition to reporting outages, it is helpful when customers report power quality issues like blinking or dim lights. This information is tracked and investigated proactively to fix issues before they escalate and cause outages.

Outages can be reported by calling the Goldendale office at 800-548-8357 or White Salmon office at 800-548-8358 at any time, any day.  Calls received outside business hours are routed to our after-hours call center CRC.  They are staffed and trained to dispatch crews to respond.  Additionally, outages can be reported using SmartHub, which is very useful when service availability is limited.