Friday, July 22, 2011

Power Grid Groans Under Strain

Yesterday saw near record demand for power despite a sour economy in the New York City metro area even as record demand was hit on the PJM grid that distributed power through much of the Middle Atlantic states. Today is expected to be even hotter with records likely to fall through much of the NYC Metro area - meaning even greater demand.

Already, Con Ed is warning customers in parts of the Westchester and Queens that they may see voltage reductions (aka brownouts) as the grid is ill-equipped to deal with the strain even after billions of dollars have been poured into infrastructure improvements following major failures during the 2006 summer that led parts of Queens to be without power for more than a week.

There were several scattered outages as underground lines burned out due to the tremendous strain and heat but nothing widespread.

Let's hope it stays that way.

Peak usage is expected between 5-6pm.

Real time PJM grid: 140,598 MW.
Real time NY ISO: 32,139.0 MW

Around 12:30, the NY ISO is reporting 33,835.2 MW while the PJM is showing 148,733 MW, but that's less than what PJM predicted for this time 153,372 MW. (PJM has a chart showing actual versus predicted usage).

It's nearly 3:30PM, and the NY ISO is reporting 33,919.6 MW. PJM is showing 151,059 MW (peak load so far today of 152,024 MW). With record temperatures falling all around the NYC metro area, the NY ISO is likely to break its prior records.

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