NYISO says power grid is ready for summer

New York's all-time record system peak of 33,939 MW was recorded on August 2, 2006

Rensselaer, N.Y., May 25, 2011 — The New York Independent System Operator reported that electricity supplies in New York State should be adequate to meet expected demand this summer.

"New York State is prepared for summer electricity demand," said NYISO president and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. "Our electric system has ample generating capacity, transmission capability and demand-side resources to address expected peak usage."

"Extreme weather is the dominant factor when it comes to producing very high demand for electricity," Whitley explained. "However, the overall growth of electricity consumption has slowed as a result of recent economic conditions and New York State's vigorous energy efficiency initiatives."

The NYISO forecasts that New York's summer 2011 peak usage will reach 32,712 MW. The forecast is 2 percent (740 MW) lower than the 2010 summer peak of 33,452 MW. Last summer's peak, which occurred on July 6, 2010, was the third highest system peak on record in New York.

New York's all-time record system peak of 33,939 MW was recorded on August 2, 2006. The 2011-summer peak forecast is nearly 4 percent (1,227 MW) lower than the all-time record.

Peak loads are measurements of the average total electric demand by consumers for a one-hour period. One megawatt of electricity can serve about 800 to 1,000 homes.

Summer heat is responsible for electricity system peaks in New York, as cooling demand from air conditioners increases overall usage. While the electricity system must be prepared to address peak load conditions, average electricity demand is typically far less.

For example, the 2010 peak load of 33,452 MW was 79 percent (14,787 MW) higher than the average daily demand of 18,665 MW in 2010.

The ability of New York's power system to meet the needs of all electricity customers at all times is established by rigorous standards. The standard for resource adequacy sets requirements for reserves over and above the amount needed to meet forecasted peak demand. In 2011, the standard requires that 37,782 MW—15.5 percent above the summer peak forecast— be available to serve New York.

The total resources available to New York in 2011 is expected to be 43,068 MW, which includes 38,285 MW of existing in-state generation, 2,053 MW of demand response resources (programs under which consumers reduce usage) and 2,730 MW of import capability that could be used to supply energy from neighboring regions to New York.

In the past decade, the resources available to serve New York's electricity needs have expanded with the addition of 8,650 MW of new generation capacity, nearly 1,300 MW of new transmission capability and nearly 2,500 MW of demand response programs.

The longer-term usage trend anticipates slower growth in peak demand, as well as overall energy use. Over the coming 10-year period, the NYISO expects peak demand to increase by 0.73 percent annually and overall energy use to grow by 0.41 percent.

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