ISO New England publishes plans on how to meet summer demand


The Independent System Operator of New England is confident its regional energy system will have adequate resources to meet consumer energy demand in the event weather conditions remain normal this summer.

The grid operator says tight supply margins could develop if forecasted peak system conditions associated with extreme hot and humid weather occur.  In the event, demand increases due to the hot weather conditions, ISO New England says it has a set of plans on how it will manage supply and demand to ensure grid reliability.

ISO New England forecasts peak demand to reach 25.729MW under forecasted normal temperature conditions of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Demand is expected to reach 28.120MW in the event temperatures reach 94 degrees F.

ISO New England plans to implement energy efficiency initiatives to save up to 2,700MW and demand response measures (DR) to reduce peak load by more than 600MW, in the event temperatures exceed normal conditions.

ISO New England will become the first US grid operator to fully integrate DR resources into its daily energy dispatch and reserves process. A total of 408MW of DR will be available to enable demand-reductions in the energy market.

The DR initiative will introduce pay-for-performance incentives as from June 1. The incentives will reward resources that overperform during shortage conditions on the regional power system, by requiring underperforming resources to pay the over-performers.

The system operator says it will make available 32,000MW of capacity to meet demand this summer. The capacity will be acquired from demand response measures, coal, oil, hydro, biomass and wind resources.

1,630MW will be sourced from new generating capacity including two new natural-gas-fired power plants and one new dual-fuel plant that totals about 1,490MW of capacity acquired through the Forward Capacity Market.

In addition, five new grid-scale solar facilities are expected to add nameplate capability of about 90MW, and two new wind farms will add about 50MW of nameplate capability.

Last summer, demand peaked on June 13, 2017, at 23,968MW. The all-time record for peak demand was set on August 2, 2006, when demand reached 28,130MW after a prolonged heat wave.