Extremely hot temperatures and high levels of humidity expected this week in New England could drive regional electricity use to near-record levels. Although power system resources are currently adequate, supplies are likely to become tight and ISO New England Inc., operator of the region's bulk electric power system, is asking consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity as a prudent, precautionary measure to help keep supply and demand in balance during this heat wave.
Taking simple steps to reduce electricity use, particularly between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., will help maintain system reliability, according to ISO New England.
New England’s electricity usage is forecast to reach near record-breaking levels throughout the week, with the highest peak demand forecasted for July 18 at 27,800 MW. The forecasted peak demand for July 16 is 27,500 MW and July 17's forecasted peak demand is 27,700 MW.
Last summer, electricity usage peaked on July 17, at 25,880 MW. New England’s current all-time record for electricity usage is 28,130 MW, which was set on August 2, 2006. In New England, one megawatt of electricity can power about 1,000 homes.
ISO New England continues to monitor the power system closely. If demand for electricity were to outstrip supply, the ISO has a series of well-established steps it can take to bring the system back into balance when forecasted demand is expected to be high, including calling on demand response resources to curtail their electric energy use and seeking additional power from neighboring regions.
Created in 1997, ISO New England is the independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for the reliable operation of New England’s electric power generation and transmission system, overseeing and ensuring the fair administration of the region’s wholesale electricity markets, and managing comprehensive regional electric power planning.