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

June 1, 2017

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 41,013 megawatts (MW) of power resources available to meet forecasted peak demand conditions.

Summer Demand Forcast

The NYISO forecasts that peak demand this summer will reach 33,178 MW, 3.0% above the 10-year average peak of 32,215 MW. Last summer’s peak demand of 32,076 MW, recorded on August 11, was 0.4% below the 10-year average. 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 electricity system must be prepared to meet peak load conditions, average demand is typically far less. The peak demand forecast is based on normal summer weather conditions, with temperatures of about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (0F). If extreme weather results in a heat wave with prolonged temperatures of 100 0F in New York City and other regions of the state, peak demand could increase to approximately 35,488 MW.

Resource Availability and Reliability Requirements

The total capacity of power resources available to New York this summer, reflecting the current assumptions for plant deactivations and additions, is expected to be 41,013 MW. Available resources include 37,609 MW of generating capacity from power plants in New York State, 1,191 MW of demand response resources and 2,213 MW of net purchases and sales from neighboring regions capable of supplying energy to New York. Based on historical performance, the net resources assumed available to serve during the summer peak total 36,184 MW.

New York’s electric system is operated under reliability standards that include an operating reserve requirement based on the potential loss of the system’s largest single resource. In 2017, 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 35,798 MW.

Demand Response and Energy Efficiency

In addition to power plant generating capacity and the ability to import power from neighboring regions, demand response programs help manage peak demand conditions. These 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 included in the NYISO’s load forecast. These resources moderate the growth of peak load and reduce overall energy usage.

A copy of the NYISO’s Summer 2017 Capacity Assessment is available online at

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