On what was the hottest day thus far of a hotter-than-normal summer, Alliant Energy reported a record-setting peak in energy usage Wednesday for its “West Control Area,” which covers Iowa and Minnesota.
Alliant set the peak record at 5 pm Wednesday, at 3,724 megawatts of power. The previous record of 3,699 megawatts was set a little more than a year ago, on July 18, 2011.
The record peak came on a day when temperatures across Iowa reached into the triple digits. Cedar Rapids recorded a high of 103 degrees Wednesday, while Iowa City hit 105 degrees.
“A number of days with high energy usage this summer remind us that an ample supply of electric generation is critical for our customers today and in the future,” said Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.
With the heat and high usage, IPL has been initiating its voluntary appliance cycling program, which allows the utility to cut power to air conditioners in 15 minute intervals during periods of high demand. Wednesday also set a record for the number of times IPL has initiated the cycling program, starting it 12 times in central Iowa and 9 times each in southern and northern parts of the state.