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November 9, 2010

Recovery helped boost electric demand

It wasn't our record-setting heat alone that explains the region's all-time peak in demand for electrical power this summer.

The PJM Interconnection, the outfit that manages the production and distribution of power across the grid in Maryland, parts of 12 other states and the District of Columbia, said that after adjusting for the record heat, a reviving economy added another 1 percent to the jump in highest electrical demand.

"It may seem like a small increase, but it's consistent with expected effects of economic recovery," saidSummer heat Baltimore Michael J. Kormos, PJM's senior vice-president for operations. "It's also a significant change from the reduction in peak demand experienced in 2009, and is the largest increase in weather-adjusted peak demand since 2006 when we recorded our all-time peak."

Peak demand is defined as the maximum demand over one hour. It's the mark that power production facilities must be built to supply, and it is typically reached in summer because of the region's demand for air conditioning.

The Summer of 2010 saw a record-high peak in electric demand across the PJM region, reaching 203.7 million megawatts. That broke the previous record of 203.4 million megawatts, set in 2005. It was 37 percent higher than the average summer peak. 

It was the hottest summer on record for Baltimore, averaging 79.3 degrees for the months of June, July and August. That broke the previous record of 79.1 degrees, set in 1943. The city also suffered a record 59 days of 90-degree weather in 2010, and tied the record for the number of 100-degree days (7). 

(SUN PHOTO: Lloyd Fox, July 22, 2010)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 9:47 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: By the numbers


One of the hottest summers (90+ degrees) on record so of course the cumulative usage would be high. Electric prices this summer were low - no emergencies or high prices. The grid is rock solid - everyone is being sold a bill of goods about how old the grid is that its falling apart and that it needs to be replaced. With the exception of a few localized areas, prices have been low. PJM is trying to justify spending BILLIONS of dollars to expand the grid - something that just isn't necessary. One constrained area is Hagerstown - PJM has proposed a $5b tranmission line from west virginia/western pa to this area to help with the constraint. If you take the small hrs this area is constrained and the dollars - it would take hundreds of years to justify spending this much money. This wreckless spending will be picked up by the ratepayers (YOU) who have NO CLUE its coming. The utilities have already begun to significantly increase their rates - and if PJM and other power pools spend billions on transmisison - expect to see a FEDERAL surcharge on you monthly bill in the hundreds of dollars. Wake up and smell the coffee - follow the money trail.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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