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As utilities restore power to millions, a more active tropical season is forecast

Highlights

About 1.6 million still without power

More named storms, hurricanes expected

Houston — On the heels of the havoc wrought by hurricane/tropical storm Isaias, with loads commensurately lighter and spot prices generally weaker than normal, experts have increased the number of named storms and hurricanes expected this season.

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As of about 3:30 pm ET Aug. 6, utilities were working to restore power to about 1.6 million customers in the regions of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast affected by Isaias, according to PowerOutage.us. The following are all of the states with at least 10,000 customers without power:

  • Connecticut: 588,862
  • New York: 492,014
  • New Jersey: 468,160
  • Pennsylvania: 33,326
  • Massachusetts: 30,025
  • Virginia, 11,759

Crews from at least 32 states, the District of Columbia and Canada were activated to respond to outages caused by Isaias, according to an Aug. 5 news release from the Edison Electric Institute, and as of 8 pm Aug. 5, power had already been restored to about 3.2 million customers.

Collectively, peakloads in ISO New England, the New York Independent System Operator and the PJM Interconnection were forecast to be down about 17.3% Aug. 6, with the biggest percentage decrease, 4.1 GW or 18.4%, in ISO New England, and the biggest absolute decrease, at 31.8 GW, or 17%, in PJM. These numbers are gleaned from their websites and the US Energy Information Administration.

In ISO New England, the closing price of $26.25/MWh for day-ahead, on-peak locational marginal price for delivery Aug. 6 was down about 33 cents, or 1.2%, from average real-time on-peak LMP of $26.58/MWh the previous Thursday, July 30, according to the S&P Global Platts price database.

A similar decrease, of 24 cents, or 1%, was found between NYISO Zone G day-ahead on-peak LMPs for delivery Aug. 6, at $24.75/MWh, from the average real-time on-peak LMP of $24.99/MWh July 30.

Only in PJM did the day-ahead on-peak LMP closing price of $25.65/MWh represent an increase — 79 cents, or 3.2% — from the July 30 average real-time on-peak LMP.

Updated tropical forecasts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center Aug. 6 reported that the Atlantic hurricane season so far has set a rapid pace, with nine named storms so far, a record for such a number so early in the season. On average, only two named storms have formed by early August, and the average season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes — of category 3, 4 or 5.

In an updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook, the CPC forecast 19 to 25 named storms, with winds of 39 mph or stronger, of which 7 to 11 would become hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or greater, and three to six major hurricanes, with winds of 111 mph or greater. The update covers the period from June 1 through November 30.

This update represents a jump from the CPC's May forecast of 13 to 19 named storms and 6 to 10 hurricanes, but the forecast of three to six major hurricanes is unchanged from May.

On Aug. 5, the Tropical Weather and Climate Research unit of Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science forecast 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and four major hurricanes, up from the CSU June 4 forecast of 19 named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes.