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 summer (8)
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.
The Summer 2016 Quarterly Markets Report prepared by the Internal Market Monitor (IMM) of ISO New England reviews wholesale energy market outcomes for June, July, and August of 2016.The report notes that the total wholesale cost of electricity (including energy, capacity, and ancillary services) during the three-month period was $1.56 billion, up 13% compared to the market value of $1.38 billion during the summer of 2015. The average real-time wholesale energy price was $30.35 per megawatt-hour, a rise of 13% compared to the summer of 2015. The year-over-year increase was driven by 2% higher average demand due to hotter weather, particularly in August, and natural gas prices that averaged $2.68 per million British thermal units, 31% higher than the average price during the summer of 2015.
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.
Some natural gas generators may need to get their fuel from other sources during pipeline construction
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 26,704 MW megawatts (MW). Extreme weather of 94°F could push up electricity demand to 29,042 MW. Construction work on the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure will require some power plants to obtain fuel from different sources. View the press release.