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Northeast Heat Wave Causes U.S. Electricity Use To Soar

Power use on the U.S. East Coast has been at its highest levels in years in recent days as a heat wave has been sweeping across the Northeast, including in New York City.

Electricity demand in New York reached its highest since 2013, as the city temperatures have been above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for several consecutive days.

Electricity use across the eastern power market run by PJM Interconnection jumped to 144,557 megawatts in the hour ended at 2 p.m. New York time on Tuesday, which was the highest demand since August 12, 2016, according to Bloomberg data. The increased demand has also resulted in higher wholesale electricity prices, with average prices in New York City at their highest since April.

Power operators in the U.S. Northeast assured on Tuesday that they had enough power to keep the grid stable during the heat wave.

“We expect to have sufficient capacity through the heat wave but we will continue to closely monitor regional electricity supplies,” Marcia Blomberg, a spokeswoman at ISO New England, which operates the grid for the six New England states, told Reuters on Tuesday.

PJM Interconnection forecast peak electricity usage in the PJM region at 148,542 MW at 4 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday, while available economic capacity was 165,643 MW.

Related: The New Oil Cartel Threatening OPEC

ISO New England said peak demand on Monday was 23,201 MW, while peak demand for Tuesday was expected at 24,250 MW, compared to 28,212 MW available capacity to meet peak demand.

Power demand was expected to be lower on July 4 due to many businesses closing for the Independence Day holiday, but the high humidity still in place was not expected to bring much relief, according to meteorologists.

Heat advisories for July 4—and for the rest of the week—spanned from New York City and surrounding areas to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Missouri.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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