Power grid operators call for conservation
The people who manage the distribution of electrical power from Northern New Jersey to Washington, D.C. called on consumers Wednesday to conserve electricity as the record-breaking heat wave continued to push power demands higher.
The PJM Interconnection said conservation measures are expecially needed between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. when the demand for power to run air conditioners and fans typically peaks.
Tuesday's record heat prompted PJM to issue a voltage reduction warning, which advised transmission line managers to prepare for voltage reductions, or "brown-outs," in the mid-Atlantic region.
The warning was later cancelled as power demand dropped, and no voltage cuts were ordered.
Power demand across the PJM grid peaked Tuesday at 136,398 megawatts, the third-highest peak on record for the grid. It also exceeded the forecast high for this summer. Wednesday's demand was forecast to reach 137,783 by 4 p.m.
Consumers were urged to close curtains and blinds to keep the sun out and cool air in; delay the use of heat-generating appliances, suich as dryers and dishwashers until after 9 p.m.; set air conditioner thermostats higher if health permits; and turn off appliances and other equipment if they're not needed.
(SUN PHOTO: Doug Kapustin, 2006)