Rensselaer, N.Y. – The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) announced today that electricity supplies in New York State should be adequate to meet expected demand this summer.
“New York State is well prepared for summer electricity demand,” said NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. “Sufficient generating capacity and demand side resources are available to manage expected peak usage.”
“Extreme weather is the dominant factor when it comes to producing very high demand for electricity. Heat waves could produce peak loads this summer to rival those of recent years,” Whitley explained. “However, overall electricity consumption is trending lower as a result of the economic slowdown and New York State’s vigorous energy efficiency initiatives.”
The NYISO forecasts that New York’s summer 2010 peak usage will reach 33,025 MW. The forecast is 7 percent (2,181 MW) higher than the 2009 summer peak of 30,844 MW, which was the lowest annual peak since 2004, as a result of relatively cooler summer weather and the economic recession.
The peak forecast for this summer would be 2.7 percent (914 MW) lower than the record system peak of 33,939 recorded on August 2, 2006.
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, average demand in 2009 was 18,126 MW, 41 percent (12,718 MW) lower than last summer’s peak load of 30,844 MW.
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 2010, the standard requires that 38,970 MW, 18 percent above the summer peak forecast, be available to serve New York.
The total capacity available to New York in 2010 is expected to be roughly 43,000 MW, which includes 37,416 MW of existing in-state generation, the additional of 689 MW of generating capacity, 2,251 MW of demand response resources (programs under which consumers reduce usage), and 2,645 MW of import capability that could be used to supply capacity from neighboring regions to New York.
In the past decade, the resources available to serve New York electricity needs have expanded with the addition of over 7,800 MW of new generation capacity, nearly 1,300 MW of new transmission capability, and nearly 2,400 MW of demand response programs.
The NYISO is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid, administering New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning for the state’s electric power system, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving the Empire State.