New England Power Grid Declares Emergency as Temperatures Soar

image is BloomburgMedia_SFARJ1DWLU6800_19-06-2024_09-00-09_638543520000000000.jpg

Power lines near Austin, Texas, US, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023. Texas narrowly skirted a statewide power emergency yesterday after unexpected rain brought temporary relief from record heat, but despite Thursday's wet respite triple-digit temperatures are expected for days to come. Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg

New England’s power grid operator declared a level 1 emergency alert in a bid to shore up supplies, as a powerful heat wave gripped the northeastern US. 

The alert came after some power generation serving the region tripped offline, said Matt Kakley, spokesman for ISO New England Inc. That left the grid operator, which serves 7.5 million homes and businesses across six states, without enough electricity to meet demand while maintaining required reserves. Electricity prices briefly jumped to $1,993 per megawatt-hour, more than 10 times the day-ahead cost for the hour.

Level 1 grid emergencies indicate that more power supplies are needed but blackouts are not imminent. 

The emergency comes as New England faces intense heat days before the official start of summer. Grid conditions are expected to be tight after a large natural-gas power plant in Massachusetts permanently shut down. This leaves little room for error when existing generation fails. Back-up oil generation was brought online to help meet demand on Tuesday, accounting for 4% of the supply at about 6:37 p.m. 


©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Naureen S. Malik


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