EP Electric: Fire Could Reach Power Supply by Friday
POSTED: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 3:15pm
UPDATED: Saturday, June 11, 2011 - 1:11pm
EL PASO - Update: El Paso Electric says the Arizona wildfire could reach one of El Paso's shared transmission lines by tomorrow. They say flames could then move on to the main transmission line by Friday.
If they are knocked out El Paso would lose about 40% of its power.
Here's a link to El Paso Electric's website. There you can view a map of exactly where the fire is.
Stay tuned to NC9 at 5, 6 & 10 for the latest details.
The Arizona wildfire is threatening to create rolling blackouts for some El Paso Electric customers.
El Paso Electric owns one main transmission line and co-owns another line that supply power to Southern New Mexico and West Texas customers from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona. Combined, the lines carry almost 40 percent of El Paso Electric’s available generation. These lines also carry power to other utilities which may be adversely impacted.
In the event that the transmission lines are compromised or damaged as a result of fires or other threats, El Paso may not be able to import enough power and may have to institute power conservation measures. Some of these measures may include rolling blackouts.
Rolling blackouts are a last-resort measure used by an electric utility in order to avoid a total blackout of the power system. They are usually in response to a situation where the demand for electricity exceeds the power supply capability of the network.
El Paso Electric has begun to make adjustments in its system to lessen the impact to customers if the lines are adversely affected by the wildfires and will continue to monitor the situation in Arizona. If El Paso Electric determines that conservation measures are required, they will inform customers.
The Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona, which has grown to more than 233,000 acres and has resulted in the evacuations of nearby communities, is dangerously close to key transmission line facilities located near Springerville, Arizona. At the current rate of speed, the fire is expected to reach the Springerville line within the next three days.