RENSSELAER — New York’s electric system has the capacity to meet demand for electricity and the necessary operating reserves during extreme cold weather conditions through the 2016-17 winter season, according to the New York Independent System Operator.
Winter peak forecast
The NYISO anticipates a peak demand of 24,445 megawatts for this winter season. Last winter peak demand reached only 23,317 MW as the 2015-2016 winter season experienced temperatures milder than the 10-year and 30-year averages. New York’s record winter peak was set in 2014 during polar vortex conditions that pushed demand to 25,738 MW.
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 to 1,000 homes.
The winter peak forecast is based on average winter weather conditions, with composite statewide temperatures of 15-16 degrees. If extreme weather produces colder conditions, with temperatures in the 5-6 degree range, peak demand across the state could increase to more than 26,000 MW.
Total capacity resources, which include generation, imports and demand response, are expected to total 42,968 MW this winter season. Installed generation capacity amounts to 40,092 MW. Net external capacity purchases of 2,034 MW also have been secured for the winter period. Projected demand response resources, which enlist consumers to reduce electricity use during peak conditions, equal 842 MW.
The electric system requires surplus power supplies to guarantee that sufficient electricity is available in the event of unanticipated power plant outages, transmission outages or unexpected increases in power consumption. Each day, the NYISO maintains 2,620 MW of operating reserves, which means additional generation resources are scheduled above the amount needed to meet the projected demand for electricity on that day.