Heat wave breaks '06 record for New York power grid

A long-lasting heat wave sweeping across the Pacific Northwest is leading to record-breaking demand for electric power. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) said in a release that average hourly peak load surpassed 33,955 MW between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. July 19.

This broke the previous record of 33,939 MW set on August 2, 2006.

"Due to the superb teamwork and coordination of New York’s transmission-owning utilities, electric generating companies, demand response resources, energy services providers and government agencies, we have successfully met record-high electric demand with sustained reliable operation of the bulk electric system," said NYISO president and CEO Stephen G. Whitley.

To help meet demand, the NYISO deployed its demand response resources, compensating large energy users to reduce the energy consumption during periods of high demand.

Combined with statewide calls for voluntary reductions from the governor and local requests from utilities and power authorities, the NYISO has more than 1,200 MW of demand response resources to help manage demand during the highest demand periods.

The daily peak loads recorded in New York this week were 32,703 MW (Monday, July 15), 32,223 MW (Tuesday, July 16), 33,254 MW (Wednesday, July 17) and 33,450 MW (Thursday, July 18).

In Canada, Toronto Hydro is calling for its customers to reduce their energy use voluntarily in response to the heat wave. A virtual power plant has been put into action in Ontario as well.

Con Edison, which supplies power to Upstate New York as well as New York City, reported a near-record peak demand of 13,161 MW at 5 p.m. July 18.

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