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Region sets electricity consumption record twice on Tuesday

Beacon Journal staff report

The energy crisis is over, at least for now.

With rising temperatures reducing the demand for electricity, PJM Interconnection, the electric grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states and Washington, D.C., has suspended its request for the public to conserve electricity.

“Our thanks go to all of the consumers who heeded our call [Tuesday] to conserve electricity,” said PJM President Terry Boston. “Consumers’ conservation had a direct impact on our ability to meet everyone’s electricity needs and helped us manage a very tight power supply caused by the extreme cold across all 13 states.”

The operator of the large power grid had warned of potential rolling blackouts as utilities struggled to keep up with the rising demand for electricity as residents turned up heaters to fend off a record-breaking cold snap.

PJM said Wednesday that the states it covers broke the record for peak winter electricity use twice on Tuesday.

The previous peak of 136,675 megawatts set in 2007 was eclipsed Tuesday morning when the demand for electricity reached 138,000 megawatts.

That record was shattered just a few hours later when a new peak demand of 141,312 megawatts was hit Tuesday evening.

To put the demand into prospective, PJM says one megawatt is enough to provide power for about 1,000 homes.

PJM said chilly temperatures, a rising demand for electricity and outages at power plants created challenges for maintaining the power grid.

PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, is charged with ensuring the reliability of electricity for utility customers in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.


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