Extreme cold could drive record winter demand for electricity
RENSSELAER – To support electric system reliability throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions as frigid weather conditions impact electricity use and power production, the New York Independent System Operator called for the activation of voluntary demand response programs (programs under which consumers reduce usage) statewide Tuesday between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The NYISO also encouraged consumers to help conserve electricity by adjusting thermostats to a comfortable but lower than normal setting if health conditions permit, refraining from using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers and turning off unnecessary electric lights and appliances from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“The Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions are under significant stress, and we continue to work closely with system operators in all of our neighboring control areas to coordinate resources and support system reliability throughout the region,” said NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. “While we are meeting all reliability standards, we encourage consumers to support these efforts by taking steps to conserve electricity. System conditions will be tight today with some generating units either not at full capacity or unavailable as a result of the extreme cold, icing conditions and high demand for natural gas.”
With extremely cold temperatures throughout the state and across much of the country, the NYISO anticipates the peak demand for electricity could rise to near-record levels for a winter day. The previous record winter peak demand of 25,541 megawatts was set on Dec. 20, 2004.
Peak loads are measurements of the average total electric demand by consumers for a one-hour period. In recent years, the annual average hourly demand for electricity in New York state has been in the range of 18,000-19,000 MW.