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

May 30, 2018

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 42,169 megawatts (MW) of power resources available to meet forecasted peak demand conditions.

Summer Demand Forecast

The NYISO forecasts that peak demand this summer will reach 32,904 MW, 2.9% above the 10-year average peak of 31,968 MW.  Last summer’s peak demand of 29,699 MW, recorded on July 19, was 7% 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 100⁰F in New York City and other regions of the state, peak demand could increase to approximately 34,750 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 42,169 MW.  Available resources include 39,325 MW of generating capacity from power plants in New York State, 1,219 MW of demand response resources and 1,625 MW of net purchases and sales from neighboring regions capable of supplying energy to New York. Based on historical performance, the net resources projected to be available to serve during the summer peak total 37,123 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 2018, 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 35,524 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 2018 Capacity Assessment 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.