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PRESS RELEASE | New York’s Electric Grid Prepared to Meet Summer Demand

May 27, 2022

NYISO Cautions Future Reliability Concerns Remain

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) today reported that electricity supplies in New York State are expected to be adequate this summer, with a total of 41,049 megawatts (MW) of power resources available to meet forecasted peak demand conditions.

The NYISO also highlighted findings first raised in its December 2021 Comprehensive Reliability Plan (CRP) that show reliability margins thinning to concerning levels beginning in 2023. The NYISO is responsible for planning the power system to prepare for future reliability risks.

“New York’s bulk electric system is prepared to handle forecasted demand this summer,” said Emilie Nelson, Executive Vice President of the New York ISO. “However, especially with recent generator retirements, economic uncertainty, and extreme weather, we must move carefully with the grid in transition to maintain system reliability in the future.”

Summer Demand Forecast

The NYISO forecasts that peak demand this summer will reach 31,765 MW, a decrease of 562 MW from the 2021 baseline forecast. Most of the decrease in this summer’s peak load forecast is attributable to the growth in distributed solar, which reduces the amount of energy that needs to be supplied by the bulk power system. The peak demand forecast is based on normal expected summer weather conditions.

The NYISO also evaluates the potential for more extreme weather scenarios and found that reliability would be maintained if peak demand increases to as much as 35,436MW.

Last summer’s peak demand of 30,919 MW was recorded on June 29th. In July 2013, New York recorded a record peak of 33,956 MW at the end of a week-long heat wave. 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 800-1,000 homes.

Demand on New York’s electric system peaks in the summer as air conditioning drives overall power usage higher. While the electric system must be prepared to meet peak load conditions, average demand is typically far less.

Reliability Requirements and Resource Availability

The NYISO’s 2021 CRP evaluated reliability of the grid through 2030 and found that reserve margins will shrink in upcoming years due primarily to the planned unavailability of simple cycle combustion turbines impacted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s “Peaker Rule.” The Peaker Rule is intended to phase out less efficient power plants that run when demand is high. New York may experience even smaller resource adequacy margins if additional power plants become unavailable or if demand is greater than forecasted. The NYISO, through its reliability planning processes, will continue to identify and address risks to reliability and resilience.

In 2022, the operating reserve requirement is 2,620 MW. The combination of the peak demand forecast and operating reserve results in a total capacity requirement of 34,385 MW. The total capacity of power resources available to New York this summer is expected to be 41,049 MW. Available resources include 37,420 MW of generating capacity from power supply located in New York State and 2,465 MW of net purchases and sales from neighboring regions capable of supplying energy to New York.

In addition to generating capacity within New York State and the ability to import power from neighboring regions, 1,164 MW of demand response resources are available. Demand response programs enlist large users of electricity and aggregations of smaller power customers to reduce electricity consumption when called upon by the NYISO.

The effect of energy efficiency programs, distributed solar photovoltaics, and non-solar distributed resources are also included in the NYISO’s forecast. These resources moderate the growth of peak load and reduce overall energy usage from the grid.

A copy of the Summer Readiness presentation as presented to stakeholders is available here.

We are an independent, 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.