Officials: Electric power supply OK for summer needs

May 17—The agency that oversees New York's supply of electricity said this week that there will be enough power for this summer's needs.

The New York Independent System Operator reported that electricity supplies are adequate to meet expected summer demand under baseline conditions, but reliability concerns remain.

There are 40,733 megawatts of power resources available to meet forecasted peak demand conditions of 33,301 MW, an NYISO report said. In 2023, summer peak demand reached 30,206 MW.

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 about 800 to 1,000 homes.

Since last summer, four generating units with a total capacity of 59 MWs have been deactivated and 12 generating units — all of which are clean energy resources — with a capacity of 452 MWs have been added to the grid, according to a news release. NYISO's recent Comprehensive Reliability Plan evaluated reliability of the grid through 2032 and found that reliability margins will continue to shrink across the state.

"Reliability margins have declined by more than 1,000 megawatts in just the last two years. That's a significant issue especially when we're impacted by heatwaves," said Emilie Nelson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the NYISO. "As demand is forecasted to rise in the coming years, this trend will continue to pose a challenge to system reliability."

Accounting for certain factors, including unavailable generation and operating reserve requirements, the reliability margin under baseline conditions is 752 MW. Under extreme weather scenarios, reliability margins are forecasted to be deficient. For example, if the state experiences a heatwave with an average daily temperature of 95 degrees lasting three or more days, the capacity margin is forecasted to be -1,419 MW. That number declines further to -3,093 MW under an extreme heatwave with an average daily temperature of 98 degrees. Under those conditions, NYISO operators will dispatch up to 3,275 MW through emergency operating procedures to maintain reliability, the release said.

System reliability requirements are established, maintained, and enforced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the Northeast Power Coordinating Council and the New York State Reliability Council.

NYISO is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the bulk electricity grid, administering the competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving New York.