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A/C demand from summer heat testing state's electrical grid

Power pole
File photo
Power pole

The continuing demand for electricity in the summer's unrelenting heat wave is pushing New York's power grid hard. On Monday, the forecast demand was so high that Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked the state government to turn off lights and limit air conditioning to ease demand. The state's Independent System Operator went into the summer saying there was enough electricity, whether generated in New York or imported, to handle the heat. The ISO runs the electric grid which wheels power around the state, especially to meet the vast demand in the area around New York City.

National Grid Media Relations Representative Virginia Limmiatis says the system is holding up.

"We're not anticipating setting any peak usages compared to the company's all-time peak of 6911 megawatts and that peak record was set on July 17. Currently, there are no system issues at this time and we do not anticipate any load relief or shedding in the coming days. We continue to monitor the network carefully," Limmiatis told WBFO.

The rain storms which swept across the state eased the demand, but that demand is expected to rise again Tuesday. Temperatures are generally forecasted to be in the low to mid-80s over the next week.

"Certainly, we continue to encourage our customers to be prudent with their energy use and urge all customers, especially seniors, to safeguard their health as they try to stay cool."

While many people will want to keep their air conditioning cranked up, Limmiatis says activities like doing laundry can be done in the evening to ease power demand.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.