By Scott DiSavino
July 19 New York State's power grid operator
said power usage on Friday broke a record set in 2006 as
consumers cranked up their air conditioners to escape sweltering
six day-long heat wave.
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) forecast
consumer demand use peaked at 33,955 megawatts on Friday, up
from 33,450 MW on Thursday, breaking the state's all-time record
of 33,939 MW set in 2006.
One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes.
NYISO said it was possible that demand could continue to
rise and the record peak load could change later on Friday.
"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," NYISO Chief Executive Stephen Whitley said in
Earlier on Friday, Consolidated Edison Inc, the
state's biggest utility, said power demand in its New York City
and Westchester service area had reached an all time high of
13,214 MW at 2 p.m. ET, breaking the old record of 13,189 MW set
on July 22, 2011.
Temperatures in New York City, the biggest metropolitan area
in the United States, are expected to reach 99 degrees
Fahrenheit (37 C) on Friday and 94 F on Saturday, according to
weather forecaster AccuWeather.com. Thunderstorms on Saturday
are expected to break the heat wave.
So far this week, the mercury reached 90 F on Sunday, 94 F
on Monday and Tuesday, 97 F on Wednesday and 98 F on Thursday.
The normal high for this time of year is 84 F. Regional power
grid operators and utilities have not had to take any major
steps to keep the lights on and air conditioners humming.
They have asked consumers to conserve power, defer
non-essential equipment maintenance and activate demand response
programs to reduce energy usage, but there have been no
widespread blackouts, just some scattered outages.
NYISO said its demand response programs could reduce power
usage by more than 1,250 MW.
ISO New England, which operates the power grid for the six
New England states, said it activated its demand response
program on Friday, which could reduce usage by about 400 MW as
power supplies become tight with demand near record levels.
Demand response program participants are compensated for
reducing electricity use, and could be penalized for not doing
so, by raising air conditioner thermostats and turning off
unnecessary lights and other equipment, including elevators, and
operating on-site generators to reduce the amount of power
needed from the grid.
The biggest power companies in New York include units of Con
Edison, National Grid Plc, Iberdrola SA, Entergy
Corp, TransCanada Corp and NRG Energy Inc
The biggest power companies in New England include units of
National Grid, Northeast Utilities, Iberdrola, NextEra
Energy Inc, Dominion Resources Inc, Entergy and