New England again sets record for low demand on regional power system
For the second time in as many years, New England has seen record low demand for grid electricity, as sunny skies, mild temperatures, and a Sunday holiday combined for a historic day on April 9, 2023.
Preliminary data shows that demand for grid electricity hit a low of approximately 6,814 megawatts (MW) between 2 and 3 p.m., nearly 750 MW less than the previous record of 7,580 MW set on May 1, 2022.
“The evolution of New England’s power system continues,” said Steven Gould, the ISO’s director of operations. “The previous record lasted less than a year, and this one likely won’t last long either. Each day, our system operators are seeing the clean energy transition play out in real time.”
Sundays typically see lower electricity demand than other days of the week, and the Easter holiday has historically led to even lower consumer demand. On April 9, temperatures were mild across New England, further lowering overall demand for electricity in the region. Production from behind-the-meter solar resources was estimated to be more than 4,500 MW throughout much of the afternoon, tempering demand on the bulk power grid.
The record low demand is just one example of the continued impact of rooftop solar installations in New England. The region set a record in 2022 for so-called “duck curve” days, during which demand from the bulk power system is at its lowest in the afternoon hours and not overnight, and is on pace to surpass that mark in 2023.