Keeping the air conditioners running in muggy Pennsylvania
Just back from visiting the family in Pennsylvania, where temperatures were hitting the high 90s. It was the kind of sticky, muggy, oppressively hot weather that reminds me why I live in the cool corner that is the Pacific Northwest.
As air conditioners were blasting away everywhere and lights were flickering, I was thinking that grid operators must be calling on every demand-response resource they could.
Back into post-vacation action, I came across an Aug. 10 release [PDF] from PJM Interconnect that confirmed it. The power grid was on emergency status and PJM, in fact, drew a record demand response — 1,945 megawatts — equal to a fair-sized city.
PJM also reduced voltage in the overall system by 1,000 MW, explaining those flickers. So I actually lived through the scenario with which I opened “Adventures in the smart grid no. 2.” Damned glad they kept those air conditioners on.