Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New York Power Grid Prepared for Summer 2015

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) reported today that electricity supplies in New York State are expected to be adequate to meet forecasted demand this summer. New York has sufficient statewide generating capacity and other power resources to serve forecasted levels of demand for electricity.

After several years of declining margins in surplus resources, there has been a rebound in the addition of generation. In particular, power plants are returning to service or upgrading their capacity in the high-demand region of southeastern New York,

The NYISO forecasts that New York’s 2015 summer peak demand will reach 33,567 megawatts (MW). Last year’s moderate summer weather produced a peak of 29,782 MW, the lowest since 2004. The 2014 peak occurred in September, far later in the summer season than usual. This year’s forecasted summer peak is below the all-time peak demand, which was set in 2013 when a weeklong heat wave led to record-breaking power consumption of 33,956 MW on July 19.

Peak demand is a measurement of the average total electric demand by consumers for a one-hour period. One megawatt of electricity can serve approximately 800 to 1,000 homes. Summer heat is responsible for electric power system peaks in New York as air conditioners that increase overall power usage are called upon to counteract rising temperatures. While the electricity system must be prepared to address peak load conditions, average demand is typically far less. The peak forecast is based on normal summer weather conditions, with temperatures in New York City about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). If extreme summer weather produces heat waves of 100°F in New York City and elsewhere, peak demand across the state could increase to approximately 35,900 MW.

The total capacity of power resources available to New York in summer 2015 is expected to be 42,150 MW. The total includes 39,039 MW of generating capacity from New York power plants; 1,124 MW in demand response resources (programs under which consumers reduce usage); and 1,987 MW of import capability that could be used to supply energy from neighboring regions to New York.

A surplus of capacity is available for the state as a whole, but transmission constraints narrow the margins of supply for downstate regions. However, in response to a new capacity zone implemented for the Lower Hudson Valley in 2014, approximately 1,000 megawatts of power resources were returned to service in southeastern New York. The resources include the repowering of the Danskammer Generating Station in Newburgh, New York, and restored capability at the Bowline Generating Facility in Haverstraw, New York.  (NYISO)