Availability & Cost of Energy

Posted: July 1, 2022 at 7 a.m.

Availability and Cost of Energy

Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) prides itself on providing reliable, affordable power to its members. As we approach the summer, MEC is bringing to our members’ attention three “out of our control” factors that have arisen recently and could potentially impact the availability and cost of energy.

Generation & Transmission Power Supply

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) has been MEC’s trusted generation and transmission power provider for decades. Unfortunately, AEPCO had an unexpected natural gas turbine failure which takes time and money to replace, install, and deploy. This turbine is anticipated to be up and running in June 2022 barring no nationwide transportation or supply chain delays. This unknown has caused MEC to evaluate the open market for additional power.

State of California

Recently, California (CA) energy officials warned of a 1,700-MW power shortfall this summer, and due to inconsistent transmission access policies, CA has been known to “steal” power, even MEC’s already purchased power. If CA’s issues start negatively affecting other states, including Arizona and MEC, this could be a double whammy effect on power availability and costs.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

FERC which regulates all utilities across the country announced that roughly two-thirds of the United States faces heightened risk of power outages this summer due to potential high temperatures and intermittent renewable energy issues. High temps aren’t new to MEC, but these potential widespread energy concerns coupled with those mentioned above could be a trifecta scenario.

Mohave Electric’s Next Steps

MEC is proactively taking action to address the potential energy issues above. Providing power to members is at the forefront of our minds in addition to keeping costs as low as possible for our members.

MEC monitors the open market daily – every hour every day – to secure the most affordable costs of power for our members. MEC is evaluating the daily costs to consider purchasing extra capacity to adjust for any shortfall. In the event, there is no available power regardless of the cost of power, this could lead to “rolling brown outs” as seen in CA.

Alternatively, purchasing extra capacity could be pricey, but the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) allows for a Purchased Power Adjustor to accommodate fluctuations in cost, which is noted on every member’s bill, currently in the form of a credit.

Member Conservation

MEC is also encouraging its members to conserve energy where and when they are able to avoid curtailment or outages. There are some simple things members can do to conserve, such as grilling outside instead of using the stove and oven. Need to do laundry? Consider drying the clothes outside instead of the dryer. Turn lights and fans off and turn the air conditioner up a few extra degrees. For questions, please call public affairs at (928) 763-4115.