PJM Interconnection, the grid operator for 51 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, successfully met another new peak demand record for electricity use of 144,000 MW yesterday at 5 p.m. (EDT). PJM's previous record demand was 139,746 MW set only two weeks ago on July 17, 2006.

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (Midwest ISO) on Monday successfully met its second record demand of the summer, reaching 136,520 MW in its reliability footprint, eclipsing the record of 132,658 MWs set just two weeks ago.

Peak load in the Midwest ISO's market footprint also set a new record, with usage reaching 116,030 MW, surpassing the previous peak market demand of 113,054 MW, also set on July 17.

"The cooperation throughout our system, including the excellent coordination of the Balancing Authorities in our area, helped us successfully manage the highest demand the Midwest ISO has experienced," said John Bear, senior vice president and chief operating officer. "I was especially pleased by the operating plan implemented by our staff, and by the effectiveness of our market design."

The Midwest ISO's real-time operations teams in Carmel, Indiana and St. Paul, Minnesota anticipated events and acted accordingly, staying in constant contact with Balancing Authorities and generation owners to confirm operating needs and capabilities throughout the system.

"With hot and humid weather expected to continue until late in the week, we may well see more record demand days," Bear added. "We will remain focused throughout this period of exceedingly high demand."

PJM reported that demand for electricity was met without problems and that generation supplies were adequate. One megawatt of electricity is enough to power 800-1000 homes. The new peak usage number is subject to verification.

PJM issued a request for voluntary conservation of electricity today in anticipation of the increased demand. Weather forecasters were expecting temperatures to reach upper 90s to 100-plus degrees in many areas of PJM's region, prompting the increased use of air conditioning.

The request for conservation will continue Wednesday in the service territories of Allegheny Power; American Electric Power (AEP); Atlantic City Electric; Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.; Delmarva Power; Dominion; Duquesne Light; Jersey Central Power & Light Co. (JCP&L); Metropolitan Edison Co. (Met-Ed); PECO, an Exelon Company; Pepco; Pennsylvania Electric Co. (Penelec); PPL Electric Utilities; PSE&G and UGI Utilities, Inc.

Temperatures in the East are forecast to remain high and to push electricity use to higher levels. Conditions in the Mid-West region served by PJM are expected to be less severe. Energy supplies are expected to be adequate to meet forecast electricity use as hot and humid conditions continue.

"PJM's coordinated regional operations, the cooperation of our members and the excellence of our staff allowed us to supply customers with the largest amount of electricity ever provided by a centrally dispatched grid," said Michael J. Kormos, PJM senior vice president-Reliability Services. "Overall generator performance and availability has been excellent. In addition, we're pleased to see the contribution that demand response made."

At the peak on Tuesday PJM had adequate available generation to meet required reserves and emergency generation to cover potential additional requirements. Demand response contributed 279 MW of capacity during the peak hour. In PJM's wholesale electricity market, electricity consumers can be paid the market price for electricity for reducing their use of electricity.