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MEC Members Set Historic Peak Demand


(CHASE CITY) Frigid temperatures drove Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC)’s peak demand to an all-time high on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. With temperatures falling to near zero, MEC’s system peaked at 183 megawatts. This shatters the previous peak of 169 megawatts reached on January 30, 2014, during the polar vortex.  Friday’s low temperatures also forced peaks across the State of Virginia and the region, including record demands by MEC’s wholesale power provider, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC).

To put this milestone in perspective, MEC President and CEO John Lee states that the yearly average peak demand for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is 120 megawatts.  “The extreme temperatures that we are experiencing are pushing our members’ heating systems to the limit, and those systems are most likely running around the clock,” he says. “Collectively, this demand has driven our electric system to peak at historic levels, placing tremendous strain on our transformers, electric lines and substations. Our system, however, remains strong and is reliably meeting the needs of our membership.”

Lee adds, “A substantial task required in maintaining our distribution system involves analyzing the impact of peaks experienced during previous summers and winters. Every three years we complete a comprehensive work plan where computer modeling is used to identify areas of potential overloading. These lines are then upgraded to meet future electric demand and thus avoid an unfortunate outage on a minus 2-degree day.”

In previous years, the heating of homes and businesses has been the driving factor in setting the Cooperative’s peak demand.  Members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative are encouraged to reduce their contribution to such extreme peaks by lowering their thermostats 3 degrees and delaying major appliance and hot water usage between 6-9 a.m. on the coldest days.  

About MEC: Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) is the not-for-profit consumer-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of Virginia counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton and Sussex as well as North Carolina counties of Granville, Person, Northampton, Vance and Warren. It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna. MEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


About ODEC: Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) is a generation-and-transmission cooperative (G&T) that provides wholesale power to Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and ten other member electric distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. ODEC and its member systems are not-for-profit electric cooperatives that are owned by the members they serve. For more information, visit www.odec.com.




This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

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