News briefs for July 27

Tri-State stepping up peak service

An unprecedented July heat wave has pushed the mercury to triple-digit records in much of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s four-state service territory and has generated record demand of more than 2,400 megawatts.

The 2005 peak is nearly 13 percent above the association’s 2004 summer peak of just less than 2,100 megawatts. One megawatt is enough power to serve about 700 to 800 homes.

Tri-State provides wholesale power to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts that serve a population of about 1.2 million. The aggregate summer peak in demand for electricity is typically reached in July, when irrigation pumping from agricultural loads in rural areas is combined with heavy air conditioning use across a vast service territory extending north from Lordsburg, N.M., to Sheridan, Wyo., and east from Meeker to the Nebraska panhandle.

“Right now, we are utilizing all of our available baseload generation at maximum output — including Craig, Laramie River and Escalante (central New Mexico) stations and have called upon our more expensive gas- and oil-fueled peaking units to get us through this peak period,” explained Tom Smith, system operations manager for Tri-State.

To help stem the generation deficit, Tri-State has stepped up the construction schedule of a new coal-based unit in Springerville, Ariz., which will add a much-needed 200 megawatts to its system by next summer.

Seniors encouraged to attend Medicare session

Senior citizens and their families are encouraged to come to an information session about the new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan-Training by Social Security. It is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor of the Independent Life Center Inc. Call 826-0833.

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