Heat Wave Across Country Straining Power Grids, Officials Warn

A huge swath of the United States is being pummeled with day after day of intense heat- if you hadn’t noticed, a quick browse of Facebook or Twitter reveals near-constant status updates chronicling the triple-digit temps in many parts of the country.

Quel horror! But the heat isn’t just making your hair poof up like whoa and causing your thighs to stick to the seats in your car. Energy officials say the demand for power created by the heat wave is taxing the nation’s power grids to alarming capacity. The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) called an emergency alert due higher-than-forecast load on Thursday, and reported the highest point ever in demand Wednesday- 103,975 megawatts. The record exceeds the previous one set on July 31st, 2006.

DC-area power exec Michael Kormos said PJM Interconnection is well-prepared for the massive demand:

“While we are at peak, this is the kind of week that we literally plan years for in advance to make sure the infrastructure’s in place… We train all year long to be prepared and everything is running well, and the grid is holding up, and we expect not to have any brownouts in the foreseeable future.”

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) spokeswoman Dottie Roark told CNN that usage records have been broken three times so far this year- just in July. So, America… hot enough for you?