New England sees historically-low demand for grid electricity

Mild temperatures, sunny skies, and typically low Sunday demand for electricity combined on May 1, 2022 to result in the lowest demand for grid electricity on record in New England.

Consumer demand for electricity from the bulk power grid dropped to 7,580 megawatts (MW) during the afternoon hours, the lowest mark observed by system operators since ISO New England began operating the system in 1997.

Sundays typically see lower electricity demand than other days of the week, and afternoon temperatures on May 1 were in the 50s and 60s across New England, lowering overall demand for electricity in the region. Production from behind-the-meter solar resources was estimated at more than 4,000 MW of electricity during this period, further tempering demand on the bulk power grid.

While May 1 represents a record, it was the continuation of a trend seen across New England as rooftop solar installations have become more popular. The region has already seen nearly as many so-called “duck curve” days, during which demand from the bulk power system is at its lowest in the afternoon hours and not overnight, in 2022 as in all previous years combined.

“New England’s power system is changing right in front of our eyes,” said Vamsi Chadalavada, ISO New England’s chief operating officer. “While these changes haven’t happened overnight, a day like May 1 is a good reminder of the progress New England has made in its transition to the future grid.”

These trends are expected to accelerate over the coming years as behind-the-meter solar continues to grow in New England, according to the ISO’s recently-released 10-year solar forecast.

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Industry News & Developments
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solar, system demand, system operations