By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Dec. 26, 2001 — The grid operator of New England forecast that demand for electricity will reach an all time winter season high of 21,500 Mw at peak sometime this season. But the ISO New England said there is sufficient installed capacity to meet the region’s energy needs.

“We don’t foresee any supply problems. New England has added 3,400 Mw of new generating capacity during the past 3 years, with an additional 6,100 Mw under construction or in the planning phase,” said Stephen Whitley, chief operating officer.

Based on the ISO’s analysis of historical weather records and projected electricity consumption, the ISO sees seasonal demand 300 Mw higher than the all-time winter peak of 21,176 Mw set last year.

The ISO New England projects that 23,200 Mw of operable generating capacity needs to be available to adequately serve the winter peak load and provide a reserve. The grid operator projects that more than 28,000 Mw of generating capacity will be available during January when winter demand typically is at its highest.

Currently, the total installed capacity is 27,693 Mw and plans to import 1,125-1,675 Mw of electricity to serve expected customer demand this week, according to its 7-day forecast.

The grid is operated with an operating reserve margin to ensure that adequate resources are available to cover unexpected power plant outages or transmission system contingencies. This week ISO New England expected a surplus of 3,577 Mw to 4,520 Mw, a report said.