Electricity demand in New England on a typical hot summer weekday can get as high as 22,000 MW, says ISO New England, the folks who run the six-state grid. The forecast for today (July 9) as I write this is 22,500 MW.
The all-time high was in August 2006: 28,130 MW. Interestingly, the 10 highest-demand summer weekdays all came between 2005 and 2013. Since then many things have changed: we’ve gotten more efficient; ISO-NE has adopted more demand response (big customers turn down use when requested); back-of-the-meter solar has grown to trim midday peaks.
Interestingly, however, three of the top-10 highest weekend electricity usage days are recent, coming in July 2018 and July 2019. My guess: This shows the importance of demand response, which only applies to industries – they don’t run much on weekends so they can’t cut back. But that’s just a guess.
Decades ago our peaks usage came in winter but air conditioning is now a part of New England life. There hasn’t been a top-10 power usage day in winter since 2009.
Want to see more? Here are the stats.