CFP: The winter of 2017/2018 saw freezing weather, causing energy demand to increase above normal levels. One of the longest and intense deep freezes ever recorded for the East Coast of the United States with snow, ice and frigid temperatures occurred between December 27, 2017 and January 8, 2018, placing the East Coast electric grid under extreme stress. The period from January 4th to 6th accounted for three of the top ten winter demand days in the history of the PJM Interconnection. Electricity consumption rose 21 percent over average daily loads during that period.
According to the National Energy Technology Laboratory, coal and oil power plants, many of which are being retired, kept the regional grid from overloading and widespread blackouts from occurring. The Laboratory’s analysis of the PJM system found that coal generation rose from 20 gigawatts to 51 gigawatts of supplied capacity. Natural gas generation averaged about 25 gigawatts, and was limited by pipeline constraints and competition from home-heating. Solar power declined due to the clouds and snow. Wind power also declined. more here