In the midst of last month’s heat wave, total electricity demand in the continental US hit its highest level in two years on July 19th. Extreme heat from the Midwest to the East Coast drove up demand for cooling, which helped push the peak demand to 704 gigawatts (GW), the highest demand in the lower 48 since July 2017 when it reached 718 GW. The actual peak demands in the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions fell short of summer forecasted peaks, while actual demand surpassed forecasts in the PJM Interconnection, which spans from Chicago to the Mid-Atlantic.

Virginia’s Dominion Energy utility has been moving to further restrict retail electric competition in the state, as they stopped accepting retail suppliers’ interconnection applications to provide 100% renewable energy as of July 15th. This move comes after the utility filed a tariff with Virginia’s State Corporation Commission in May that would prohibit retail suppliers from providing 100% renewable options. Dominion’s efforts to constrict the market for retail suppliers come in a state where retail supply is only offered for loads greater than five megawatts and for any customer buying 100% renewable products.

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