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(August 31, 2023) Lexington, Neb. – Dawson Public Power District set a new record for peak demand this summer, crushing the previous record. There was 252,619 KW of demand on the Dawson PPD’s grid at 5:41 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23 when temperatures were around 100 degrees. It is 11,904 kW higher than the old record, set in July 2012 during a summer of drought. The difference in the demand levels is roughly the equivalent of the power required for four villages.

“We planned for a situation like this. We built the system for it. We maintain the grid to be prepared for challenges like this,” says Cole Brodine, Dawson PPD Manager of Engineering. “We had very few issues during the peak. I’m happy to say our planning worked well.”

The record includes usage from all types of customers – from residential to irrigation and industrial. However, 143,000 kW of the load comes from irrigation use.

Between 2012 and 2023, customers added 38,000 horsepower of irrigation electric load on Dawson PPD’s grid. This is equal to just over 28,000 kW. Grant programs, convenience and favorable rates are helping to drive conversion from fossil fuels to electric irrigation systems.

“I think precision agriculture is the reason we could add so much load but not set a new peak in those 11 years,” Brodine explains. “Farmers are increasing their efficiency, while using technology and improved practices to make their businesses more profitable.”

Future maintenance and upgrade plans will be determined using 2023 data.

“Even with the new record, we want to make sure people know that we are able to serve new loads. This has been an exciting year for economic development and Dawson PPD is committed to supporting new business and the communities we serve,” Brodine interjects.

Dawson PPD posts system load data in fifteen-minute increments.

Dawson Public Power District is a Nebraska rural electric utility system that serves south central Nebraska along the Platte River Valley. Organized in 1937, Dawson PPD provides service to more than 23,000 electric meters and maintains over 5,800 miles of power lines. The district’s 5,800 square miles territory includes all of the rural areas in Dawson and Buffalo Counties, approximately two-thirds of Gosper County, a third of Lincoln County and parts of Custer, Sherman, and Frontier Counties. Dawson PPD also serves several villages including Hershey, Maxwell, Brady, Farnam, Eustis, Elwood, Eddyville, Smithfield, Overton, Sumner, Miller, Riverdale, Amherst, Odessa, and Pleasanton. To learn more, visit www.DawsonPower.com.

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