Region's energy records smashed during heatwave
THE sweltering heatwave in Toowoomba and south-west Queensland set records for energy use as residents tried to keep cool during 40-degree heat.
Sunday at 6.50pm marked the second-highest energy use peak in the south-west region, with Ergon Energy recording a reading of 413.8 megawatts.
But the record had already been set on February 2 this year at 7.17pm, with a reading of 426.3 megawatts.
Ergon Energy's Rod Rehbein said summer energy use in south-west Queensland had continued to increase.
"The peak on February 2 was an all-time record for the south-west and Sunday's peak is the second highest on record," he said.
Mr Rehbein said Toowoomba and south-west Queensland was the only region Ergon managed where the summer and winter peaks were close together, however that had since changed thanks to the latest records.
"The record winter peak for the south-west was recorded on the morning of June 5, 2015," he said.
"I don't have an exact peak use figure, but it is almost 100 megawatts below the new summer record on February 2, whereas it was higher than the summer peak at the time it occurred.
"Traditionally, the south-west region is the only one in Ergon's territory that has similar summer and winter peaks, though the recent peaks are higher than those experienced in recent winters. "
The recording on Sunday was unusual since it was made without the help of commercial and industrial energy usage, according to Mr Rehbein.
"It is most unusual from a historical perspective to have such a high peak on a weekend, especially a Sunday, because the commercial and industrial load is significantly lower than on weekdays," he said.
"The other (interesting thing) is that yesterday's peak occurred earlier in the day, around mid-afternoon rather than during the evening when the other summer peaks have been recorded.
"The reduced solar PV output due to cloudy conditions in parts of the South West yesterday could have been a contributing factor to that."
TOP FOUR SUMMER 2016/17 ENERGY PEAK RECORDS
- 426.3MW (February 2, 2017)
- 413.8MW (February 12, 2017)
- 391MW (December 5, 2016)
- 387.4MW (February 13, 2017)