July 22, 2013

Heat takes toll on New England electric grid

The Associated Press

HOLYOKE, Mass. –  New England's electric grid operator says last week's stretch of excessive heat and humidity pushed weekend power use to an eight-year high.

click image to enlarge

Brice Lyon, 9, of Westbrook, prepares to go under the water at East End Beach in Portland on Friday as he and his sister, Brooke Lyon-Dame, 5, and their mother, Stephanie Lyon, tried to cool off as a heat wave descended on southern Maine.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

ISO-New England said Monday that preliminary data show that 24,653 megawatts were used Saturday, a record for a weekend day.

The previous record was 24,065 megawatts on Aug. 13, 2005.

On Friday, demand was fourth-highest, with demand for 27,377 megawatts.

The record for electricity use was 28,130 megawatts on Aug. 2, 2006.

Spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg said ISO-New England asked businesses Friday to reduce power to help cut demand. On Friday, Portland hit a record 95 degrees for July 19. The heat index reached into the 100s.

Businesses that agree in advance to cut electricity do so when requested by the Holyoke-based power grid operator.

The call for power reduction is rare.

Blomberg said companies were asked in January, but were never called on last year.


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