New England is expected to have the resources needed to meet consumer demand for electricity this summer, though tight supply margins could develop if forecasted peak system conditions occur. If this happens, ISO New England will take steps to manage New England’s electricity supply and demand in real time and maintain power system reliability. Under normal weather conditions of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F), electricity resources should be sufficient to meet consumer demand this summer, with a forecasted peak of 26,482 MW megawatts (MW). Extreme weather of 94°F could push up electricity demand to 28,865 MW. View the press release.
Entries in peak demand (10)
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.
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.
Summer 2016 was fairly uneventful until August arrived with its long stretches of hot, humid weather that pushed up demand for air conditioning and the electricity that powers it. Despite a high number of unexpected resource outages on one August day, ISO New England’s control room operators were able to operate the power system reliably that day and throughout the summer.
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.