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An essential component of a comprehensive, real-time control center for power systems is a method for the calculation of short-term load forecasts. This paper explores the use of general exponential smoothing to develop an adaptive forecasting system based on observed values of integrated hourly demand. A model is developed which offers high accuracy and operational simplicity. Forecasts of hourly MWH load with lead times of one to twenty-four hours are computed at hourly intervals throughout the week. A pragmatic viewpoint is maintained throughout the paper, which includes an analysis of two years of hourly load data, test results for the method developed, and discussions of adjustments for holidays and weather disturbances.