ISO-NE anticipates normal system operations during upcoming cold weather

ISO New England is anticipating normal power system operations this week, even as bitter cold temperatures are forecast throughout the region on Friday and Saturday.

According to the ISO’s most recent 21-Day Energy Assessment Forecast and Report, released Wednesday, available energy supplies are expected to be sufficient to meet the forecasted consumer demand. Notably, heading into the cold weather this weekend, the region’s supplies of fuel oil are at their highest levels of the season. The expected short duration of the cold weather limits the potential for strain on the region’s stored fuel supplies, including liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The ISO has declared a Cold Weather Watch for Saturday. Cold Weather Watches are relatively common in New England, with Saturday marking the seventh such day in the past five years. The lowest of three cold weather alerts, the designation occurs when extremely cold temperatures are expected in the region, but a surplus of 1,000 megawatts (MW) or more is present in the ISO’s Seven-Day Capacity Forecast.

While the ISO projects adequate supplies of electricity in the coming days, system operators and forecasters will continue to monitor conditions. Should anything unexpected develop, the ISO will follow well-established operating procedures to balance supply and demand on the regional power system.

As of Thursday morning, consumer demand for electricity from the regional grid is expected to peak at just above 19,000 MW on Friday and just over 18,000 MW on Saturday. This would represent the highest demand so far this winter, but remain below the ISO’s seasonal forecast for peak conditions, in part because of the cold weather falling on days that typically see less consumer demand. Total electricity use is expected to reach 379 gigawatt-hours (GWh) on Friday and 371 GWh on Saturday, which would be the highest values observed this winter.

Industry News & Developments
system operations, winter