Rensselaer, N.Y.— The New York Independent System Operator announced that New Yorkers consumed 17,312 GWh of electricity in July, the highest monthly usage on record.
The prior record for statewide energy use occurred in August 2005 when the monthly usage was 17,003 GWh. The third highest level was set in July 2008 when New Yorkers consumed 16,781 GWh of electricity.
The amount of electricity consumed in July 2010 was 19 percent higher than July 2009, when the monthly usage was 14,542 GWh. While July 2010 was among the hottest months on record, July 2009 was cooler than normal.
The extreme heat caused many New Yorkers to seek comfort in air-conditioned homes, workplaces and cooling centers. Demand had been trending lower as a result of the economic downturn and energy-efficiency initiatives; however, the heat and increased economic activity pushed usage higher than anticipated.
July also saw one of the state’s highest peaks when demand reached 33,452 MW on July 6,2010. The all-time system peak was set on August 2, 2006 at 33,939 MW. Peak loads are measurements of the average total electric demand by consumers for a one-hour period.
“The key to reliably meeting summer power demand is preparation,” said NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. “We have reliability standards that require sufficient resources be available. Our rigorous training programs make sure our operators know exactly what to do to keep the power flowing. New York’s power markets have cultivated new generation, transmission and demand-side resources, and our planning process looks ahead to anticipate the future energy needs of New Yorkers.”
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 required that 38,970 MW, 18 percent above the summer peak forecast, be available to serve New York. The total capacity available for the state is roughly 43,000 MW, which includes 37,416 MW of existing in-state generation, the addition of 689 MW of new 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.
In the past decade, the resources available to serve New York’s electricity needs have expanded with the addition of more than 7,800 MW of new generation capacity, nearly 1,300 MW of new interstate transmission capability and over 2,200 MW of demand response.