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    Grid operator expects plenty of summer power


    June 2, 2022 - Jim Kinney - jkinney@repub.com

     

      ISO New England, the region’s power grid operator, said yesterday there will be enough power available to meet expected summer demand.

      More than 31,000 megawatts of capacity is expected to be available to meet New England consumer demand for electricity and required reserves, ISO New England said.

      Typical weather conditions mean electricity demand is forecasted to reach 24,686 megawatts. An extended heat wave could push demand up to 26,416 megawatts.

      If the bulk markets cannot keep up, ISO New England says it has options including importing power from neighboring regions, calling on power system reserves, and asking businesses and residents to voluntarily conserve energy. In severe events, system operators may be forced to call for controlled power outages to protect the overall grid.

      Electricity demand tends to peak when there is a heat wave and people turn on their air conditioning. Last summer’s demand peak was 25,801 megawatts on June 29, 2021. It was 95 degrees in Springfield that day.

      The all-time record for electricity demand was set Aug. 2, 2006, when demand reached 28,130 megawatts after a prolonged heat wave.

      Westfield Gas & Electric has encouraged customers to save themselves, and the utility, money by conserving, especially during “power rush hour” times of high demand between 5 and 8 p.m.

      “‘Road hogs’ like air conditioning, dishwashers, and other appliances can significantly affect overall energy demand during these times. Because distribution charges are set based on usage during these “peak” times we want to work together to help hold these costs down for everyone,” the utility said in a statement.

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