Regional Grids [ISO New England] Fared Well in the Face of a Heat Wave

New England ISO states demand was not even close to the highest peak level of usage
ISO New England Region

Regional power grids fared well through a recent heat wave just as California and the Southwest were bracing for the expectation of brutal hot weather.

The hot weather set at least one record, but in most wholesale markets, peak demand was far below historical levels.

ISO New England hit an hourly peak of 24,180 MW on July 5, not even close to the ISO’s record peak of 28,130 MW hit on Aug. 2, 2006 during a heat wave. The July peak was not even high enough to qualify for the ISO’s list of top 10 peaks.

The ISO issued no alerts and had sufficient capacity to meet demand throughout the heat wave. ISO New England, in fact, began preparing for the hot weather even before summer began, spokesperson Marcia Blomberg said. Each spring, the ISO and its utility partners perform maintenance on transmission and generation resources in preparation for the high loads that hot weather brings.

Heading into the summer months, ISO New England closely monitors weather forecasts, fuel source availability, and other factors that may affect the grid to get a sense of what conditions system operators will be facing.

The difference between a normal summer temperature of 90°F and heat wave conditions of 94°F can result in more than 2,000 additional MW of demand, the ISO says.

Cold winter weather also causes spikes in demand, but ISO New England experiences its highest peaks during the summer, and summer peaks can put more of a strain on its grid because they extend for longer periods with a ramp beginning during midday and stretches into the evening. Winter peaks usually last two to three-hours early in the evening.

Excerpted from a Post: July 9, 2018 by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association