Xcel Energy Expects Power Plants Online Wednesday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/22/08

Xcel Energy Expects Power Plants Online Wednesday

With the sun down, the strain on Xcel Energy's power grid lessened Tuesday night, but the company continues to push conservation. 

Tuesday afternoon, Xcel asked more than 350,000 customers in west Texas and eastern New Mexico to cut-back. Unplanned maintenance on two facilities took longer than expected, and to prevent blackouts, Xcel asked customers to conserve.

NewsChannel 11 spoke with Wes Reeves from Xcel Energy Tuesday night.  He told us they hoped to have their Amarillo plant up and going by Tuesday night and the Muleshoe plant by Wednesday morning. Even when these two facilities go back on-line, Xcel still encourages folks to conserve.

A hot day means cranked up air conditioners, causing local meters to spin. Tuesday afternoon, Xcel energy upgraded their alert, asking customers to turn up the thermostat, and hold off on household chores that use a lot of energy. "It can add up to a substantial amount of power," Xcel Energy Account Manager Preston Langford said. 

Xcel anticipates their Amarillo and Muleshoe plants will be back on-line by Wednesday, easing the strain on their electric grid. "It's moving along, and our crews are working diligently to repair those," Langford said. 

A new plant near Hobbs, NM should also help. Xcel has contracted to buy power from the state of the art, natural gas plant. "So, it's very environmental friendly and will help drive the costs down for our customers. Unfortunately, this plant is still two to three weeks away from being complete and available," Langford said. 

With hot, dry weather expected across the South Plains, Xcel urges customers to keep the conservation going. "They are definitely great tips to follow, not just at a time of need where we're asking our customers to partner with us, but also just to save money on your electric bill ongoing," Langford said. 

Xcel suggests for people who can, raising their thermostats during the day, and then lowering it to a more comfortable level at night. They also suggest folks put-off chores like laundry, vacuuming, or running the dishwasher until after 7 p.m.  

(Click Here) for more tips to save energy this summer. 

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