New England electricity usage predicted to reach near record-breaking levels

A forecast of extremely hot temperatures and high humidity this week is leading ISO New England Inc. to expect regional electricity use in the area to reach near-record levels. The operator stated in a release that resources are currently adequate, but supplies are likely to become tight and consumers are being asked to voluntarily conserve electricity as a precautionary measure.

According to the New England ISO, the region’s electricity usage is forecast to reach a peak demand of more than 27,000 MW per day, reaching a high peak demand of 27,800 Thursday. Last summer, electricity usage peaked on July 17 at 25,880 MW. The record for peak demand in New England is 28,130 MW, which was set on Aug. 2, 2006.

The operator stated it is monitoring the power system closely and has steps in place that can be taken to bring the system into balance if the demand for electricity rises above the supply. Those steps include calling on demand-response resources and seeking additional power from neighboring regions.

The New York Independent System Operator released a statement Monday encouraging consumers to conserve electricity as well. The operator is expecting the peak demand for electricity in New York state to reach near the state’s record level of 33,939 MW.

According to a report from Bloomberg, about 2,600 consumers in southern New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are without electricity Tuesday. Part of the outage was caused by equipment catching fire from a combination of heat and high usage.

A spokesman for Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) told Bloomberg more lines are expected to fail, and the utility is suspending routine maintenance to prioritize responding to power failures that may occur.

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