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The daily electrical peak load forecasting (PLF) has been done using the feed forward neural network (FFNN)-based upon the conjugate gradient (CG) back-propagation methods, by incorporating the effect of 11 weather parameters, the previous day peak load information, and the type of day. To avoid the trapping of the network into a state of local minima, the optimization of user-defined parameters, namely, learning rate and error goal, has been performed. The training dataset has been selected using a growing window concept and is reduced as per the nature of the day and the season for which the forecast is made. For redundancy removal in the input variables, reduction of the number of input variables has been done by the principal component analysis (PCA) method of factor extraction. The resultant dataset is used for the training of a 3-layered NN. To increase the learning speed, the weights and biases are initialized according to the Nguyen and Widrow method. To avoid over fitting, an early stopping of training is done at the minimum validation error.