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ISO New England Announces Preparedness to Meet Peak Demand for Electricity in Summer 2024

June 11, 2024
The ISO predicts electricity demand to reach 24,553 MW in summer 2024, assuming typical weather conditions.

According to ISO New England, the region’s power system is prepared to meet the peak demand for electricity in summer 2024.

The ISO predicts electricity demand to reach 24,553 MW in summer 2024, assuming typical weather conditions. However, above-average summer weather, such as an extended heat wave coupled with high humidity, is expected to increase the demand up to 26,383 MW, thus constricting supply margins.

Approximately 30,000 MW of capacity is expected to be available to meet New England consumer demand for electricity and required reserves.

ISO New England employs generators to produce electricity using fuels such as natural gas, nuclear, oil, coal, hydro, biomass, wind, and sun; demand-response resources reducing their energy use; and power imported into New England from New York and Canada to meet demand.

The summer forecasts include the demand-reducing effects of about 2,085 MW of energy efficiency measures. The decrease is made up of resources, such as energy efficient appliances and lighting, designed to save electricity across many hours, but cannot be dispatched by system operators.

The ISO accounts for active demand response resources, which reduce energy consumption when required, as part of the capacity analysis, as the resources participate directly in the region’s wholesale energy markets.

Additionally, the forecasts include a reduction of an estimated 999 MW during the peak hour of energy demand, attributed to the region’s behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic (BTM PV) installations. New England has about 7,000 MW of BTM solar PV installed, and these systems produce their highest output in the early afternoon hours.

In the summer of 2023, solar panels produced an average of 3,500 to 5,000 MW during the middle of the day. The increase of solar power in New England has pushed the peak hour of grid demand later in the day, when the sun is lower and production from solar PV systems is also lower.

New England’s power grid has undergone a change as older units retire and newer resources will be connected to the system. While the Mystic Generation Station has retired on June 1, 2024, the ISO is not anticipating any capacity issues during the summer based on the retirement.

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