By Gabriel Monte
CNJ staff writer
An Xcel Energy spokesman says the utility company is confident it will be able to meet power demands today one day after asking customers to conserve energy.
Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said the company issued the alert after a power generator in Texas was taken off-line for maintenance on Monday when tubes in a boiler ruptured and needed replacing.
Reeves said the utility was able to meet power demands on Tuesday without outages but issued an alert to consumers to scale back power use. Xcel Energy serves 17,000 customers in eastern New Mexico.
The utility company urged consumers on Tuesday to limit their power use through 7 p.m. to ease the strain on its power grid as the generator would not be available during the peak demand hours, according to a news release.
"We were concerned if something else would have happened (on Tuesday)," Reeves said.
Reeves said the power generator taken off-line should have been operational by 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
However, he said Xcel's customers should practice power conservation methods throughout the week as the utility experiences its peak energy demand during the first week of August.
According to the National Weather Service, a high of 97 degrees was recorded in Clovis on Tuesday. Today's highs are expected to reach 100 degrees. Above normal temperatures are expected throughout the week, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Amanda Martin.
Farmer's Electric Cooperative also sent alerts to customers on Tuesday asking to scale down power consumption.
Thom Moore, director of member services, said the cooperative purchases its power from Xcel Energy.
The cooperative provides electricity to 12,500 accounts in eastern New Mexico, he said.
According to the Xcel Energy release, consumers can help prevent power emergencies by:
- Turning off unneeded lights, computers and appliances.
- Setting the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher at home.
- Turning up the thermostat to 85 degrees before leaving home.
- Using major appliances and equipment after 7 p.m., when power demand is lower.