HELP NEEDED! Custer Public Power asks everyone to conserve

Custer Public Power is sending out a red flag. Nebraska Public Power and our local power district need your help. On July 4, NPPD’s customers set an all-time energy usage peak of an estimated 3,036 megawatts. The new all-time peak bettered a previous record of 2,851 megawatts reached the day before, July 3, 2012. Prior to this, NPPD’s last all-time peak was 2,671 megawatts set on July 30, 2006.Custer Public Power sets its own new record of 118 megawatts, 18 more than last year. “We’re in a place we’ve never been before,” stated CPPD Manager Rick Nelson. “If we get another message like we did July 4, we are going to have to do something!”There was some relief with the Thursday evening rain, but it wasn’t enough. Friday temperatures are climbing back toward the ‘it’s hot out there,’ range.“Heat is not our friend. The heat literally ‘heats up’ the transformers and the conductors,” explained Nelson. “This causes more resistance called VAR, and you can’t get as much load through.” Add this to the drought conditions and you have a problem. Nelson pointed out that they want all of the irrigators to be able to run as much as they need, but at this point in time they need everyone’s help. He had these suggestions:• Turn off the lights• Raise the temperature on the air conditioner• Avoid doing laundry and turning on the oven between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. • Turn down the water heater if possible• Try to just get by. For the last several years, the power companies saw diversity in irrigation. This year with the lack of rain and 100 degree heat with a dry wind, CPPD has been faced with more irrigation than ever before. “The 100 megawatt peak from last year had a lot of diversity in it. This year we don’t have the diversity,” said Nelson.