SPOKANE, Wash. — About 24,000 Avista customers experienced power outages during the dangerous heat wave this week. Avista said part of this is the result of Spokane's growth and its equipment struggling to keep up.
Avista Director of System operations and planning Mike Magruder, said this growth plays a factor in outages.
“But we make sure that we're going to have enough capacity moving forward,” Magruder said. “And we take the data that we have to trend and forecast areas where we need the most support to upgrade our equipment and improved capacity for our service."
He said North Spokane, along Highway 395, and Eagle Ridge are areas where Avista is seeing the most growth in power usage.
To be clear, this growth does not mean people in these areas are using more power. Avista said this means there are just more people using power.
“Even in the areas where that are established, we still see the trend, the growth that we see there,” Magruer said. “So, add that to the new growth of new people, new homes new developments coming onto our system. We're aware of that and we plan for that capacity. And we'll make the necessary upgrades to serve our customers."
Avista is working to keep up with the growth through power line upgrades, more equipment, and upgrading substations.
They say this will create enough capacity for Avista to be reliable to its customers---new and current.