July 7, 2013

Electricity supply expected to exceed summer demand

PLATTSBURGH — New York is expected to have plenty of electricity to meet peak demands this summer season.

That is partially thanks to the growth of natural gas in this state.

David Flanagan, media and community-relations manager for the New York Independent System Operator, provided that outlook to the Press-Republican Editorial Board recently, based on a new report.

“Summer is a critical time for us,” Flanagan said.

Air-conditioning and cooling systems are the main reason that electricity consumption peaks during the summer.


New York Independent System Operator is a private, nonprofit created in 1999 to fulfill the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission mandate for fair and open access to the electrical grid in New York state.

The agency manages the flow of electricity through 11,000 circuit miles of high-voltage lines from more than 350 electricity-generating facilities.


Independent System Operator produces a daily energy forecast.

It uses a day-ahead electricity auction, where suppliers submit price and quantity proposals, as well as real-time auctions, held every five minutes throughout the day.

These auctions are how the system purchases energy from different suppliers.

The Independent System Operator starts with the lowest-price generator and then moves up the list, buying power until the daily energy forecast is met.


The state’s summer peak consumption can increase 70 to 80 percent above average daily use.

For that reason, System Operators must have enough electricity available to meet peak levels plus 17 percent padding, Flanagan said.

The average daily consumption level in 2012 was 18,538 megawatts, while the peak demand was 32,439 megawatts.

For 2013, the peak consumption during normal summer weather of 95 degrees is projected to be 33,279 megawatts. That number increases to 35,767 megawatts if the temperature reaches 100 degrees.

That means a total of 38,936 megawatts of power is needed to meet the required reserve level.

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