Network monitor confident in summer electricity supply, management

BOSTON (SHNS) – Power grid operators expect there will be ample electricity supply to meet demand as the warmer months approach and ISO New England expects peak demand to occur below the peak of last summer if the weather conditions are “typical”.

Electricity demand on the New England grid reached 25,801 megawatts last year at 6 p.m. on Tuesday June 29, a day when temperatures approached 100 degrees. This summer, ISO New England said in its annual summer forecast on Wednesday that demand is expected to peak at 24,686 MW in typical summer weather or up to 26,416 MW in the event of an extended heat wave. ISO said it plans to have 31,000 MW of capacity to meet demand.

“While ISO New England expects the region to have an adequate supply of electricity this summer, conditions may require system operators to take action to maintain system reliability. ISO New England operators have many tools to maintain the overall reliability of the electrical system. These well-established procedures protect the region in the event of an unexpected power plant or transmission line outage, a prolonged heat wave resulting in increased consumer demand, fuel supply problems or emissions limitations that affect the amount of electricity generation available, or a combination of these factors,” the system operators wrote in their summer forecast.

“Procedures to deal with these issues include importing backup power from nearby areas, calling on power system reserves, and asking businesses and residents to voluntarily conserve power. During severe events, system operators may be forced to request controlled blackouts to protect the entire network.

Electricity demand in New England is highest in the summer, when residents and businesses turn to air conditioning to combat the heat and humidity. But the shift to electrifying transportation and home heating is expected to turn the region into a “winter peak system” within the next 10 years, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card said the week last.

The all-time record for peak demand in New England was set Aug. 2, 2006, when demand hit 28,130 MW after a prolonged heat wave, ISO New England said. Peak demand for Wednesday is expected to be 14,150 MW, ISO New England said.

Also on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Area Planning Board launched its Summer Peak Demand Program, through which it alerts municipalities on days when peak demand is within reach to encourage them to reduce consumption to save energy. money on electricity bills. During peak demand periods, dirtier fuels such as petroleum are brought into service, so reducing demand during these periods can have a greater impact on shifting emissions by limiting the use of generators. high-emitting generators, MAPC said.

Alan A. Seibert