Officials with an organization that coordinates electric power grid reliability in the Northeast and parts of Canada said Thursday that Connecticut and New England should have an adequate power supply for this summer.
Part of the reason for the adequate supply, according to officials with New York City-based Northeast Power Coordinating Council, is demand for electricity during peak periods continues to decline. The organization’s forecast for overall demand for electricity in New England has decreased by about 600 megawatts from last year’s forecast, to 103,548 megawatts.
“This continues an almost decade-long trend of overall flat or declining peak demand forecast,” Edward Schwerdt, president and chief executive officer of the NPCC, said during a conference calls with reporters Thursday. Schwerdt said the decline in electricity demand is due to energy efficiency and conservation initiatives as well as the significantly increasing role of behind-the-meter photovoltaic resources in New England and New York.
The NPCC’s forecast for this summer took into account the impending shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Massachusetts, he said. The owner of the Plymouth, Mass.-based nuclear plant, Louisiana-based Entergy, plans to close the Pilgrim plant at the end of May.
Closure of the plant will leave New England with just two nuclear power generation facilities: Millstone in Waterford, Conn.; and Seabrook on the New Hampshire coast.
The loss of Pilgrim’s 680-megawatt generation capacity is being offset by a 1,185-megawatt increase in new power-producing assets in New England, said Phil Fedora, assistant vice president for reliability services at NPCC. Among the generation increases is the new natural gas-fired power plant New Jesey-based PSEG is building on the site of the old Bridgeport Harbor generation station.
New England’s electric grid operator, ISO-New England, has projected peak demand for power this summer to hit 25,323 megawatts. That’s 406 megawatts lower than what had been projected for the summer 2018 forecast of 25,729 megawatts.