As the heat continues in southern Nevada, NV Energy is relying on a specific kind of power plant to make sure customers have the energy they need.
Here is a look at how the Edward W. Clark generating station helps to keep the lights and A/C on. Just the peaking units alone will produce 600 megawatts — power for roughly 360,000 homes.
“A lot of folks they really don’t understand what it takes to generate electricity,” said Jason Hammons, plant director, NV Energy.
Electricity is something some might take for granted until it goes out. But NV Energy says it works non-stop to make sure southern Nevadans are not left in the dark.
“These are the peaking units we have. Twelve peaking units, each peaking unit has two combustion turbines and a power turbine,” Hammons said.
Specific generating units are used during the summer months.
“Most times of the day we can generate enough power to cover the needs of all of our customers.”
The peaking units were commissioned during the 2008-2009 period which is now approaching 10 years. They tend to produce about 50 mega watts each. Hammons says it’s a huge resource they rely on.
“There are times during periods of extreme heat — like we have been seeing this past few weeks or so — the demand is so much that if we can’t generate it we are out purchasing it on the market,” Hammons said.
He says this power plant is extremely valuable to help back up the growing amount of solar energy that serves customers.
“When clouds roll over, when there’s intermittent issues with solar, these peaking units become that much more important because they can come up very quickly and pick up that load.”
Especially during the hours of peak demand which is 5 to 8 each evening when roughly 600 megawatts of power are being generated.
“We’ll be producing more and more of our energy needs from solar and it would really benefit the customer and as we generate more of these resources, especially during the day, during the summer time, that’s just less power that we’ll generate from these traditional plants,” he said.
NV Energy encourages customers to conserve energy not only for peak demands but for their power consumption.