The Nebraska Public Power District is making contingency plans in case another brutally hot summer threatens its system.
Last year, the utility had to curtail electrical service and solicit voluntary reductions because of the strain caused by Nebraska's hottest and driest summer on record.
The utility will spend between $4.7 million and $7.9 million renting and installing mobile diesel generators at five sites across north-central Nebraska.
Each site will be able to generate up to 8 megawatts of additional electricity.
Besides installing temporary generators, the utility is improving portions of the transmission line between the Battle Creek and North Norfolk substations.
One of the reasons NPPD was strained by last summer's unusually intense drought is that it provides most of the electricity needed to run Nebraska agriculture's irrigation systems.
More than 30 times last summer, NPPD exceeded its previous high for electricity generation. The old record of 2,671 megawatts was set July 30, 2006.
Last summer, demand peaked about 13 percent higher, at 3,030 megawatts on July 25.
Source: Nebraska Public Power District