If you live in the Northeast, you’ve certainly experienced a summer heatwave. On these days, commercial and residential buildings all have their air conditioning units on high. This increases the amount of usage and demand for electricity on the grid.
When these heatwaves sustain for multiple days, the grid eventually reaches its highest amount of electricity demand for the year, which is called a peak day. Days like this can have a brutal effect on the electricity grid as too much demand can lead to brown outs and black outs.
On these peak days, your capacity tag is determined by the ISO.
For clients in ISO-NE, Capacity is determined by taking a snapshot of your demand for electricity during one hour of one day in which residents and businesses are drawing the most electricity from the grid, i.e. the peak day.
By curtailing your demand during this time, you can significantly reduce your capacity tag for the following year while also helping relieve congestion on the grid.
A Success Story
On this particular mid summer day, high temperatures and a sustained heatwave made our team at BPE anticipate a peak electricity demand day in New England.
We promptly informed our clients in the region – including a large plastics manufacturer, about the impending peak event. Despite not receiving confirmation from the plastics manufacturer (who had experienced price spikes before) our curtailment service persisted in contacting them.
Eventually, the facilities manager responded mid day, acknowledging the peak prediction and immediately implementing a curtailment plan.
In a surprising move, they shut down 94% of their operations, including manufacturing and air conditioning, to manage capacity costs. The system indeed peaked at 23,929.184 MW between 5 and 6pm.
The plastics manufacturer’s rigorous curtailment efforts led to a remarkable 90% reduction in their capacity tag, resulting in a massive cost avoidance for the following year. This achievement encouraged them to continue curtailment practices to maintain a low capacity tag in the future.
Does your business have a curtailment plan for peak days? As always, you can contact your Energy Advisor to learn more.