Largest Power Grid Just Declared An Emergency
A scorching summer day is ahead for parts of the U.S. on Thursday, prompting the largest electrical grid operator in the country to issue an emergency energy alert.
PJM Interconnection, headquartered in Pennsylvania, issued two alerts Thursday morning, warning customers in the states it services – Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. – of the need for potential emergency measures as temperatures across the region approach sweltering levels.
“PJM has issued this series of alerts to help prepare generators for the onset of intense heat, acting conservatively in light of recent extreme weather events that have occurred within the region and across the country,” said PJM in a statement.
The U.S. isn’t alone in feeling the heat roll in. According to the World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, July is set to become the hottest month ever recorded around the world.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has also noted that more than 128 million Americans are currently under some kind of heat advisory, with the Southwest seeing temperatures climb into triple digits already.
The central U.S. and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England were also hit with warnings from the NWS Thursday, noting that the region could expect “dangerous heat” as temperatures continue to soar throughout the weekend.
In North Carolina’s Raleigh area, the NWS said the heat index on Thursday could reach the low 100s, with even hotter temperatures to come on Friday through the weekend. Nearby State College, Pennsylvania saw temperatures just as high, with the humidity making it feel as though temperatures are reaching insane heights of 105 degrees.
As for PJM’s regional forecast, the power company is estimating a peak load of approximately 153,000 megawatts on Thursday, followed by around 154,000 megawatts on Friday. To compare, peak demand in the region last year hovered around the 149,000 mark.
Though no emergency situations have been reported yet, PJM said it is “prepared and ready” to take action should the extremes of Mother Nature’s weather affect their system. Until then, customers are urged to take caution while keeping cool on these sweltering hot summer days.