New York power grid prepared for summer

RENSSELAER – The New York Independent System Operator reported Thursday 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 address expected peak usage, absent extreme weather conditions or unexpected power plant outages,” NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley said.

The NYISO forecasts that New York’s 2014 summer peak demand will reach 33,666 megawatts. The forecasted peak is below the record peak demand set last summer, when a heat wave produced power consumption of 33,956 MW on July 19, 2013.

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. 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 36,000 MW.

The total capacity of power resources available to New York in summer 2014 is expected to be 41,298 MW. The total includes 37,978 MW of generating capacity from New York power plants, 1,189 MW in demand response resources (programs under which consumers reduce usage) and 2,130 MW of import capability that could be used to supply energy from neighboring regions to New York.