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NE Power Plants Prepared to Match this Summer’s Peak Electricity Demand

April 30, 2015

ISO New England VP and COO Vamsi Chadalavada announced recently that New England power plants should handle this summer’s peak electricity demand, despite losing 570 MW worth of generation after closing Mount Tom Power Station and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station:

“The New England power grid is prepared to meet consumers’ needs for power this summer. Prior to every peak-demand season, ISO New England focuses on grid preparations to be ready to handle high amounts of electricity demand and a required reserve margin. This effort includes coordinating closely with the region’s power plant owners, transmission companies, natural gas pipeline operators, and neighboring grids in Canada and New York to ensure their resources are ready. Last year’s retirement of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, with a capacity of 615 megawatts, will mean the region will have less electric generating capacity than last summer, and also a narrower reserve margin when demand is peaking. If a prolonged heat wave occurs and the extreme peak demand forecast materializes, then the region will need to rely more heavily on power imports from neighboring areas, and may also need to use operating procedures to maintain system reliability.”

While solar power can supplement, ISO NE grid operators can’t clearly forecast the quantity available, since most panels generate on-site for the owners rather than for the utility.

After a mild summer 2014 peak demand of 24443 MW, ISO predicts a higher peak demand of 26710 MW in 90 degree weather. A long 94 degree heat wave could spike demand above 29000 MW, breaking the August 2006 record of 28130 MW.

All of NE power plants combined can generate 30325 MW, 800 MW more power than the minimum amount.  640 MW of demand resources and 1240 MW of net-electricity imports are required as back-up as transmission lines are improved in both Maine for Canadian power imports and across CT, RI and the Commonwealth.

Hopefully last week’s NE Governors meeting will pave the way for improved capacity and generation in the near future

Read the full story here.


EarlyBird Power Team