UPDATE 1-U.S. Northeast has enough power for 2nd day of heat wave

Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:32pm EDT
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By Scott DiSavino

July 16 (Reuters) - Power companies and regional grid operators in the U.S. Northeast said they have enough electricity to keep air conditioners humming on the second day of a brutal heat wave.

So far, the utilities and grid operators have not had to take any major steps to keep the lights on.

They asked consumers to conserve power, deferred non-essential equipment maintenance and activated demand response programs to reduce energy usage in some areas.

Utilities across the region also boosted the number of crews they have in the field so they can quickly restore any power outages that may occur even though they have only encountered small numbers of scattered outages over the past few days.

Next-day prices in PJM, New England and New York climbed about 15 percent to the $130s per megawatt-hour for Wednesday, which traders said is high but not unusually so when electric usage is near record levels.

But this heat wave still has a few days to go.

Temperatures in New York City, the biggest metropolitan area in the United States, reached 94 degrees F (34 C) on Monday. They are expected to hit 95 F on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 94 on Friday before thunderstorms break the heat wave on Saturday, weather forecaster AccuWeather.com said.   Continued...