New York region has plenty of capacity to handle summer energy load

Published on June 02, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) reported that New York State is expected to handle the power needs of the region this summer.

The state has a total of 41,319 megawatts (MW) of power resources available to meet forecasted peak demand conditions. The summer demand forecast is expected to reach 32,296 MW, a decrease of 86 MW from the 2019 forecast, and 1.3 percent above the 10-year average peak. Last year, the peak demand was 30,391 MW on July 20. The record peak for New York was 33,956 MW, recorded in July 2013.

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

Peak demand is a measurement of the average total electric demand by consumers for a one-hour period. The peak demand forecast is based on normal expected summer weather conditions. If more extreme weather scenarios were to occur, NYISO said peak demand could increase to approximately 34,210 MW. But even in that scenar5io, the region has plenty of power capacity to handle it.

While COVID-19 has led to an eight to 10 percent drop in overall electricity usage in the region, the virus has not impacted our summer peak load projections. This is due to several factors, including a projected increase in load due to the state’s re-opening plan.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the NYISO has taken proactive actions to protect the safety of its critical control room operators, including utilization of the alternate control room, additional extensive cleaning between shifts, testing of operators, and several weeks of on-site sequestration.