Midwest, mid-Atlantic utilities call for conservation to weather heat

Utilities throughout the Midwest, mid-Atlantic, and New York issued heat alerts Monday lasting through the middle of the week.

Many set peak demand records last week. Minnesota’s Great River Energy issued a peak alert through its member co-ops for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The co-op said there is a high probability industrial, commercial, and residential customers on voluntary interruptible load programs will be asked to shed load to maintain the system.

Great River said the peak alert is being issued because of high temperatures and humidity resulting in high demand on the system. Temperatures in the Twin Cities hit 98à‚° F. Sunday just short of the 100à‚° F. record set in 1947. Muggy conditions sent the heat index up to 107. Xcel Energy Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., reported 14,611 customers were without power late Sunday.

PJM Interconnection LLC, a regional transmission organization serving five mid-Atlantic states and Washington, DC, called for conservation and said it may be required to initiate further actions to preserve the integrity of the region’s electric power grid.

PSE&G, the utility unit of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., Newark, NJ, serving 1.9 million electric customers in the New Jersey region requested the public conserve power while the area experiences a heat wave this week. Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., Baltimore, Md., and GPU Energy, a unit of GPU Inc., Morristown, NJ, also asked customers to cut back their use of power during the heat wave.

With high temperatures and humidity forecast over the next few days, Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. Monday called for customers to reduce demand. Con Edison hit a new peak in energy demand July 25 by providing 11,858 Mw of power, breaking the previous record of 11,850 Mw set on July 6, 1999.

The Con Edison system is delivering energy to 8.9 million New York City and Westchester residents. The previous peak for this year was set July 24, when Con Edison provided 11,355 Mw of electric power to its customers.

Demand for electricity by customers in the Ohio and Kentucky service territories of the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. and the Union Light, Heat & Power Co. was a record 5,047 Mw July 26, breaking the old record of 5,041 Mw set July 21, 1999.

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