Heat played role in three Fargo power outages, officials say

Saving energy and money during summer heat
Saving energy and money during summer heat(KAIT)
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Officials say it was the extreme heat that lead to more than 2,000 customers to be without power Sunday evening. However, they say despite the continued heat wave in the metro, the issue shouldn’t happen again.

Power went out between 3 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Sunday which impacted two areas near Davies High School and another near Sheyenne St. and 40th Ave.

Cass County Electric says it wasn’t worried about having any outages going into the weekend of high temperatures and wind. Rather, the company says Sunday evening’s events took crews by surprise.

“Usually we don’t see issues with loading on weekends. Even when it’s hot, even when it’s really cold. It seemed like everything started coming on around the same time,” Jodi Bullinger, VP of Engineering Operations at Cass County Electric said.

Bullinger says while customers in the Sheyenne St. area were only without power for around 30 minutes due to a blown fuse, about 1,000 people living near Davies High had to beat the heat for longer, as crews from around the metro came to help not only fix the problem, but to make sure it didn’t happen again.

“Just like if you plug in too many things into an outlet you might have a fuse or a breaker go and that’s kinda what happened,” she said.

Bullinger says their system in that area had an upgrade planned to be put in place later this month, which was moved around due to our late spring and weeks of flooding. However she says once crews were on site, they extended the outage and upgraded the system right then and there.

“And that was so we wouldn’t have this problem today or in the future,” she said.

Bullinger says the upgrade increased the system’s capacity, which means more people can blast their air conditioning at the same time.

She says there aren’t any other areas in need of an upgrade right now, and assures the problem is unlikely to happen again.

Xcel energy says it’s not had any issues with power outages across the tri-state area. The company says while crews are keeping a very watchful eye on their systems as demand continues to skyrocket, as of now everything is still working as it should.

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