HOLYOKE, Mass. (WTNH)-- New England is expected to come close to an all-time record for electric consumption this week and because of that the people that regulate the power grid are asking for voluntary conservation for the next few days.
As Connecticut and the rest of the region bear up in the heat and humidity, electric power consumption for the six New England states is expected to come very close to the all time record.
One of the air conditioning units on top of a ten story office building is working extra hard to keep things cool inside in this heat.
Multiply this by the hundreds of office buildings in New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport and Stamford and you can see that power consumption is being stressed to the limit.
The massive control room for I-S-O/New England is located just over the border in Western Massachusetts. The control room regulates the power flow to all six New England states from the region's 350 electric power plants.
They have given the order that all plants must be operating this week.
"Early yesterday morning we asked for unnecessary maintenance of power plants and transmission lines be postponed until the heat wave subsides," said Ellen Foley, ISO New England.
Tuesday's peak demand was expected to be 27,500 megawatts.
And Thursday is projected to be 27,800 megawatts, very close to the all time record.
That was set in August of 2006 at 28,130 megawatts.
Because this heat wave is hitting all of the Northeast getting power from other states may not be possible. So I-S-O/New England is asking you to turn up you thermostat a degree or two if you can and to try to conserve power between 12 PM and 8 PM by not using unnecessary equipment, appliances and lights.
"This request that we put out today is a voluntary conservation. It's really a precautionary measure because we are looking at an extensive heat wave. The conditions on the system are like to grow tighter as the week goes on," said Foley.
You may recall that early in the last decade we almost always had warnings about power consumption during heat waves but nearly $5 billion has been invested in the past five years on new power plants and transmission lines which has made these warnings much less frequent.
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