Alabama Power expects higher energy usage as folks find cool

By Ashley Nix

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - One-hundred plus degree temperature means lowering that air conditioner.  Inside the Alabama Control Center, Alabama Power employees monitor usage, and for right now, it's up.

"We had a peak yesterday," Hallie Bradley of Alabama Power said.  "10,829 megawatts from Wednesday and we expect today to be the same."

Alabama Power's capacity is over 12,000 megawatts. But there isn't a concern about a system overload because the company has access to it's sister company.  Monitoring, though, company leaders say is the key.

"The workers who monitor our system, they usually have 12 or 8 hour shifts.  They monitor our grid and they can monitor our power remotely," Bradley said.

Working out in the miserable heat, a reality for folks like Ray Burke.  "You get used to it," Burke said.  "You have to be careful, drink a lot of fluids out here."

Giving the less-fortunate fluids is exactly what Dwayne Johnson is doing at Linn Park.

It's through a city sponsored program, Hydrate the Homeless.  Earnest Artis, a homeless man says the water is a big help.  "I appreciate the water b/c when it gets this hot your body needs fuel, especially water," Artis said.

Leaders with Hoar Construction, with more than 200 employees at the new Chidlren's Hospital construction site, say preventing heat related illnesses is a priority.  "It's probably the biggest thing we have to talk to them about," Safety Director Eddie Elmore said.

Elmore added coolers with water and Gatorade are on hand, but drinking anything with caffeine is discouraged.

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