Power to the…air conditioner?

footprint.jpg

This big old spider-like tower supports the massive power lines that come into a portion of downtown Minneapolis.

And in my mind’s eye, those wires were red hot on July 20.

Xcel Energy reports they supplied 9.537 megawatts of power during peak demand in their Minnesota service area, a record.

Xcel serves a lot, but not all of Minnesota. So the state’s total electric consumption was higher.

What was going on?

Ah, how soon we forget! Here’s how MPR weather guru Paul Huttner described the torture in his UPDRAFT blog:

The dew point sensor at Moorhead spiked to 88 degrees at 7pm Tuesday evening. That’s the highest dew point ever recorded in Minnesota. (Previous record was/is 86 degrees)

When you combine the air temperature of 93 at that hour, the heat index calculates out to a Persian Gulf level of 130 degrees! That would also be the highest heat index ever recorded in Minnesota. (Previously 124 degrees at Moorhead in 1966)

Ok, back to electricity for a moment.

It’s a big part of the Twin Cities “ecological footprint,” according to a study done by the U of MN’s Ignacio San Martin and Shengyin Xu in 2010.

Transportation accounts for 28 percent of the footprint, and electricity is another 28 percent.

Now, I have to find out what an ecological footprint is.

And a megawatt.

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