UPDATE 2-U.S. Northeast has enough electricity for heat wave

Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:40pm EDT
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By Scott DiSavino

July 15 (Reuters) - Power grid operators and utilities in the U.S. Northeast said they had enough electricity to keep air conditioners humming this week as a brutal heat wave blankets the region, but asked homes and businesses to conserve energy.

PJM Interconnection, the biggest power grid in the nation, said it does "not expect major problems" even though power usage is expected to top 150,000 megawatts (MW) each day this week. That is still well below the grid's all time record of more than 163,000 MW set in 2011.

One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes in PJM.

In New York, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) activated its demand response programs to reduce electricity usage in the New York City area.

Participants in demand response programs cut back on electricity use by raising air conditioner thermostats, turning off unnecessary lights and other equipment such as elevators and escalators, and if available, running on-site generators to reduce the amount of power needed from the grid.

Temperatures in New York City, the biggest metro area in the United States, will reach 94 degrees F (34 C) on Monday, 95 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 92 on Friday and 90 on Saturday before thunderstorms break the heat wave Saturday evening, according to weather forecaster AccuWeather.com.

Consolidated Edison Inc, New York City's power company, asked customers to conserve power as forecast demand this week approaches the utility's all-time record of 13,189 MW set in July 2011.   Continued...