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

June 5, 2019

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 42,056 megawatts (MW) of power resources available to meet forecasted peak demand conditions.

“The state’s grid is well-equipped to handle forecasted summer demand,” said Wes Yeomans, Vice President of Operations for the NYISO. “The NYISO operates the grid to meet reliability rules that are among the strictest in the nation and are designed to ensure adequate supply.”

Summer Demand Forecast

The NYISO forecasts that peak demand this summer will reach 32,382 MW, 1.5% above the 10-year average peak of 31,912 MW. Last summer’s peak demand of 31,861 MW was recorded on August 29.

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. The NYISO also evaluates the potential for more extreme weather scenarios, if they occur peak demand could increase to approximately 34,186 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 42,056 MW. Available resources include 39,295 MW of generating capacity from power plants in New York State, 1,309 MW of demand response resources and 1,452 MW of net purchases and sales from neighboring regions capable of supplying energy to New York.

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 2019, 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 35,002 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 2019 Capacity Assessment is available online at

A copy of the Summer Readiness press briefing 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.