The New England Patriots are back in the Super Bowl, set to take on the Atlanta Falcons Sunday night in Texas. Millions of football fans across the region will be watching, and so will ISO New England system operators—not to cheer on the home-town favorite, but to ensure the region’s power grid reliability. Even when the game is thousands of miles away, the Super Bowl can have a big impact on regional electricity demand—before, during, and after the game. Like players celebrating in the end zone after a touchdown, demand spikes and dips throughout the game. Grid operators must closely monitor the fluctuations and be ready to respond quickly. Electricity supply must be kept in precise balance with consumer demand at all times—and failure to do so could result in grid instability.
Entries in forecast (16)
How the ISO uses weather forecasts in formulating electric demand estimates
Earlier this summer, on July 7, 2016, a cold front moved into New England from the north, leading to unexpectedly cooler temperatures across the region. Boston hovered in the mid-60s for most of the day. An unanticipated thunderstorm in Hartford caused a quick and dramatic drop in temperatures. The cool weather lasted through July 8.
For most living in the area, the sudden shift in weather was not much more than a reason to grab an umbrella or jacket. But inside the ISO New England control room, the unforeseen change in weather represented a major challenge because it caused a rapid and significant drop in consumer electric demand.
Natural gas pipeline constraints remain a concern, Winter Reliability Program implemented
Electricity supplies should be sufficient to meet New England’s consumer demand for electricity this winter, but possible natural gas pipeline constraints could limit electricity production from natural gas power plants. A Winter Reliability Program has been implemented to incentivize gas and oil-fired power plants to procure sufficient fuel before winter begins. View the press release.
For many around New England, the ritual is the same: Wake up early on Thanksgiving morning and start prepping dinner, firing up ovens for turkeys, stuffing and pies. The holiday brings a lot more activity than a typical fall Thursday morning and also changes the way ISO New England plans for the region’s energy use that day.
On most fall days, electric demand peaks in the early evening, as people around the region return home and begin household chores like laundry and cooking dinner. But on Thanksgiving, ISO New England’s system operators have seen consumer demand for electricity peak much earlier – often around noon – making it the only day of the year where electricity demand peaks this early.
Heat maps and load profiles illustrate solar power’s growing effects on the regional power system and grid operations
ISO New England is pleased to announce a new webpage, Solar Power in New England. Explore how solar power capacity is expected to grow, see how it’s already reducing the amount of electricity demanded from the grid at certain times of day, and learn why this creates challenges for ISO forecasting and grid operations.
As the region gears up for a season of fun in the sun, ISO New England prepares for conditions unique to the hot, humid summer months. Peak demand brought on by warmer weather and an increased reliance on energy-intensive technologies, such as air conditioning, can create complex challenges for the grid operator.
To maintain a reliable supply of electricity to New England’s residents and businesses, the ISO’s System Operations team must rely on carefully planned procedures to increase power generation and curb consumption during periods when demand for electricity threatens to exceed available capacity and reserves. High consumer demand or unplanned resource outages—when a transmission line or generator suddenly goes offline—are typically the reasons for these procedures to be enacted.