I'm hardly surprised, I certainly haven't seen as many oil barges when I've been fishing down at the Hudson River lately.
I could see technology playing a role in this -- there is no reason why air conditioners, refrigerators, and electrical heating systems couldn't be rigged to up ramp up or down when grid frequency either sags or accelerates. Nobody is going to notice if air conditioning drops or rises 2-3 degrees momentarily.
So when there is excess power in the grid, rather then trying to redirect it, appliances could take advantage of it to do useful work on the cheap. Power plants do this already, so why not consumer appliances? I guess there would concerns that if millions of appliances ramped up when there was a slight increase frequency, their would be overcompensation.
In 1970, air conditioning was the exception rather then the norm in New York State. Now it's rare to find a motor vehicle or indoor space that isn't chilled all summer long. That said, it looks like for the next two weeks it will be relatively cool for summertime in Albany-area.