ISO New England says region has sufficient supplies to meet winter energy demands

Published on December 10, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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ISO New England expects to have enough supplies and resources to meet New England’s electric needs this winter.

ISO New England, operator of the region’s power grid, says demand will peak at 20,166 megawatts (MW) under normal weather conditions, which is 1.5 percent lower than the 2019-20 forecast. During extremely cold temperatures, electricity demand is expected to peak at 20,806 MW, or 367 MW, which is 1.7 percent lower than the 2019-20 forecast.

“Based on weather forecasts, fuel inventory assessments, and decreasing peak energy usage trends, the ISO expects the region will have the electricity it needs to meet consumer demand and maintain system reliability this winter,” said Peter Brandien, vice president of system operations & market administration for ISO New England. “However, conditions still exist such that if the region experiences an extended period of extreme cold weather, fuel supplies into the region could become constrained, resulting in challenging system operations.”

The projections are based on anticipated weather conditions, which have a 40 percent likelihood for warmer weather according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While it is not expected to impact power system reliability this winter, COVID-19 will continue to bring uncertainty to electricity use as more people may be working from home.

“The reliability of New England’s power system is our priority,” Brandien said. “We’ve established comprehensive procedures for maintaining situational awareness and communicating with key stakeholders to manage through these extended cold events.”