Israel's electric consumption hit an all-time high on Wednesday, with 11,334 megawatts of power passing through the Israel Electric Company (IEC)'s power lines. The company was able to handle the demand with no interruptions in service, it said.
National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Minister MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) visited the company's headquarters Wednesday. According to Steinitiz, the fact that the system was able to handle the pressure under the difficult conditions was exceptional.
“One of the missions of my Ministry is to ensure that there is enough power, water, and electricity for the Israeli economy in the face of difficult conditions, including extreme weather, war, and natural disasters. This is a national mission, ensuring that the country will be able to function properly.”
Israel Electric Company CEO Yiftah Ron-Tal accompanied Steinitz, saying that the “for the first time, we have enough power, and more in reserve, to deal with extreme weather like this,” due to the large quantity of natural gas off Israel's shores.
The record temperatures Wednesday – over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) – set a second record, with Israel experiencing a second major heat wave in the normally temperate month of May for the first time since 1970.
On Monday, May 18, a temperature of 41 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) was recorded in Tel Aviv, while on Wednesday, May 27, the high temperature for the day was 42.6 Celsius (107 Fahrenheit). The last time a temperature of 40 Celsius or above was recorded in May in Tel Aviv was in 1970, when the thermometer hit 41.5 degrees on May 21 of that year.
In Jerusalem, the high temperature Wednesday was 39 Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit ), just shy of the record of 39.6 set in 1939, and ahead of 1970's 38.6 Celsius.