Focused on reliable energy
Most of us use electricity, either directly or indirectly, throughout our day, both at work and at home. It powers our quality of life from our air conditioning systems and appliances to charging our smartphones, computers, TVs and Wi-Fi routers. Reliable energy is vital.
You have probably seen news stories about the tight energy markets in the western United States, especially surrounding events in California and Texas. When demand is high and the supply of power is limited, issues in one state affect the entire region, especially during the summer.
Trico made arrangements in advance of the summer to secure adequate power supplies, but as with a lot of things, there are things we can control, and things we can’t. For example, our distribution system is dependent on high-voltage transmission lines from which we get the power to deliver to your home, ranch or business. These are owned by other utility providers, and while we have contracts with them for the delivery of bulk power to our system, we aren’t in complete control.
Recently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a request by California’s market regulator to grant California the ability to override existing utility contracts and withhold power destined for other states in emergency circumstances. Arizona’s utilities opposed this request and are disappointed in the result. For this summer, the decision increases the chance that an unusual event in California (e.g. a plant outage, a transmission line interruption, or a heat wave) could cause a supply shortage in Arizona.
We are working diligently with our power supply and transmission partners, and planning for how we can limit the potential impact on our Members if one of those unexpected events occurs. One way we can all contribute is by conserving energy during peak hours (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and waiting to use major appliances until after 8 pm. This reduces stress on the system and saves all of Trico’s Members money. For more information on conservation, click here or please visit Trico’s social media accounts.
One factor we do control is our distribution system, and I want to share some recent examples of ways we have improved our distribution system and reliability:
- The construction of the Green Valley 69 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Bicknell and Green Valley substations. This project, completed over 2½ years, is the first all-steel pole line constructed on Trico’s Transmission/Distribution system. The line is needed to ensure system reliability as the existing line had been in service for 47 years and was due for replacement.
- In May, the new rebuild of the Three Points Substation was completed. This is a unique design for Trico in that it has a main and transfer bus. A bus in electrical parlance is any common connection to which any number of loads are connected in parallel, all being fed more-or-less the same voltage. This allows for more flexibility in maintaining substation equipment and general serviceability and reliability.
- In July, Trico’s Equipment Technicians and Operations staff installed new bird guarding in the Three Points Substation. Green Jacket is a new product that will help in preventing avian-created outages and protect equipment in the substation. Bird related outages have occurred in the past at other substations. At the Sahuarita Substation, Trico linemen installed Wildlife Protectors on insulators at the substation and a Sonic Bird Repeller unit. These steps are environmentally responsible, and they increase service reliability.
At Trico, we care about you, the Members we serve. That’s why we will continue working hard to power your life, reliably and affordably.