Carlisle, MA -- June 01, 2021 -- AEI will be resuming its free ISO Alert service to help subscribers avoid coincident peaks with the electric power grid during the coming months of warm weather and heavy demand. The service will resume on Monday, June 7th, 2021 and continue through September 30th, 2021. We are restarting the service a week earlier than normal because of anticipated warm weather in the ISO New England and NYISO service areas early next week. There is no expectation in any forecasts that grid demands will clear any important levels, but we'd rather that you see the data than say nothing at all during next week.
New Peaks are Happening Daily
As usual for the start of the season, new 2021 peaks are happening on a routine basis on all 7 domestic systems we track, but it's very early in the season and none of the systems have hit 90% of their recent annual peaks; most have barely passed 50% of their expected annual peak for this year. SMS alerts will only be sent when demands exceed a minimum floor we have set for each system in an effort to minimize annoying false positives. For your planning purposes, and for the first time this year, we are publishing the minimum floor levels that must be exceeded before we will issue any alerts that have a decent chance of being valuable to your operations. These levels are arbitrarily determined by taking 90% of the lowest peak load in the past 5 years. For 2021, these floor levels are as follows:
|System||2021 Floor, MW||2020 Peak, MW||Min 5-Year Peak, MW|
|ISO New England||21,700||24,697||23,717 (2017)|
|NY ISO||27,400||30,667||29,704 (2017)|
|CA ISO||39,700||46,967||44,129 (2019)|
So, for example, we know that ISO New England is projecting a peak load of 20,900 MW on Monday June 7th. This is at about 800 MW lower than our projected minimum level for this season and, therefore, no alerts will be issued on Monday if that peak projected load is accurate. If the weather next Tuesday is as predicted, and if system loads exceed 21,700 MW, then our minimum floor level will have been reached and alerting will commence for the season. Alerts are issued in the hours before an anticipated new high for the year.
Customize Your Morning Report Delivery
With a new feature introduced last year, you are able to change the "Minimum Morning Report Rating" from "1" to "2 or higher" if you prefer not to hear from us on those days when the grid rating is a 1 out of 5. Statistically speaking, there will usually be less than 10 days during the next four months where a given grid will have a rating of 2 or higher. You can eliminate most of the morning reports by changing this setting from a "1" to "2 or higher". While we can never guarantee that a peak hour will not occur on a day rated 1 out of 5, it's never happened in the past 5 years and you will still get SMS alerts if you are configured for them and there is a sudden peak that was not forecast by the ISO. To change this setting, use the link at the bottom of any Morning Report email you receive going forward.
We wrote an article in Energy Central last year that showed an approximate energy usage drop of 5.8% across the entire power grid during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We had expected a more dramatic drop in demand because of the major shutdowns across all aspects of the U.S. economy, but that scenario did not materialize. Based on that, and given the upswing in the broader economy today, we are expecting nearly normal levels of activity on the power grid or perhaps even higher surges if there are overcorrections in certain sectors. One mitigating influence could be a drop in residential demand for this year as people feel more inclined to leave the home and move about in public, exchanging residential energy use for an increased usage in buildings and transportation.
The good news for this year is that capacity charges in New England are lower at $4.63 per kW-month, down from $5.30 last year. This trend should show up as lower costs in your demand charges, and if they don't you really should let us look at your TOU profiles or put you in touch with our partners who can help on the supply side. For those of you in the PJM service area, prices this year have nearly doubled to $140 per mW-day and higher, so we continue to advise that you do whatever it takes to avoid coincident peaks. The auction for 2022/2023 only closed on May 25th, so we expect the results to reported soon. As for New York, prices are also down but are varied depending on whether you're looking at NYC or the rest of the state.
For more information, or to signup for this free service, please visit the AEI ISO Alerts website at https://www.aeintelligence.com/products-and-services/aei-iso-alerts.