Lawmakers, energy developers, and policy wonks descended on downtown Concord today for the annual New Hampshire Energy summit. The event couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, last week New Hampshire electric utilities – with the notable exception of the state’s largest, Public Service of New Hampshire – announced winter rate hikes ranging from twelve to fifty percent.
The New England Independent System Operator (or ISO) has a seemingly simple job: to keep the lights on, and the power running. But behind this goal are the many hurdles of operating the region’s electric grid. Through the peaks of summer air-conditioning and winter cold snaps, the system must remain always ready for spikes in demand.
Power grid operators expect electricity demand to spike to near-record highs during this week’s heat. New England’s Independent System Operator, or ISO is asking residents to reduce their consumption.
With demand expected to be only a few hundred megawatts shy of New England’s all time record on Thursday, the region’s ISO expects to bump up against max capacity. That means wholesale prices will spike as the grid calls on many coal and oil plants that increasingly spend most of the year off-line.