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Daytime Power Demand Dipped Below Night For A Moment — And New England Solar Advocates Are Cheering

Steve Hinchman of ReVision Energy at the 1.5 megawatt solar plant the company installed at Brunswick Landing. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

Steve Hinchman of ReVision Energy at the 1.5 megawatt solar plant the company installed at Brunswick Landing. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

Solar power’s emergence as an important feature of New England’s energy landscape just hit an important milestone.

Normally the amount power drawn from the regional grid is lowest at night. But one sunny day this spring, residential solar arrays flipped that pattern around — and the phenomenon will likely become more frequent in New England.

It happened on April 21.

“It was a Saturday, it was the weekend and we had relatively mild weather, so there was light consumer demand on the electricity system. And it was a particularly sunny day,” says Anne George, a spokeswoman for ISO-New England, the group that runs the region’s bulk transmission grid. “We saw record high output from solar installations in the region, which led to the first-time ever in New England seeing load and demand of the electricity system at a lower level in the middle of the day as opposed to overnight when everybody’s sleeping. That was a first for us.”

Visit Maine Public for the full story.