A smothering heat wave shattered records for electricity use across a wide swath of the country yesterday as utilities and government officials called for conservation and braced for even more strain on the power grid today.

Power systems held up well despite worries about overloaded plants, transformers or lines. But utility executives warned that the risk of breakdowns rises steadily as a heat wave wears on, and with todays temperatures expected to top yesterdays, with possible record highs along the East Coast, power companies were girding for a huge challenge. 

Three independent system operators, agencies that manage regional grids for New York, the mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, set record highs for electricity demand yesterday, breaking records set just two weeks ago. New England was just shy of a record. 

Experts say demand is rising faster than the ability to meet it, which over the long run could pose the risk of both local and regional failures.

Full article here.  The good news about having a blackout is that we won’t have to watch while the Middle East goes up in smoke.  You should always try to look on the bright side of these things.