PowerSouth sets record peak

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 14, 2010

While it’s unknown if Covington County’s recent cold snap included record-breaking weather, PowerSouth set a record of its own with an all-time-high system peak Monday.

Mark Ingram, corporate communications manager, said the record was set at 7 a.m. when PowerSouth’s system peak was at 2,382 megawatts, beating the previous record by 176 megawatts. In addition, it far surpassed PowerSouth’s projected winter demand of 2,098 megawatts.

A megawatt is equivalent to one million watts of power. PowerSouth’s system meets the needs of 16 electric cooperatives and four municipal electric systems in Alabama and northwest Florida, including Andalusia Utilities and Covington Electric Co-operative.

“Our system operators closely monitor our projected demand and manage our resources accordingly,” said Tim Hattaway, manager of PowerSouth’s energy control center.

In order to meet its system’s demand, PowerSouth generated 5.5 megawatts of capacity at its Gantt and Point A hydro plants, 503 at Plant Lowman, 147 at McWilliams, 520 at Vann and 84 at Alabama Power’s Miller plant. PowerSouth purchased the remaining energy needed to meet the peak demand.

As temperatures start to increase through the rest of the week, it should lessen the demand on power, Hattaway said.