Doubts surface about New York City summer electricity supply

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Feb. 15, 2001—To avoid possible blackouts this summer in New York City and on Long Island, the New York Independent System Operator (ISO) said additional electricity capacity needs to be located in these areas before summer.

Those two areas are transmission constrained meaning that additional power must be located within the city or on the island to meet reliability requirements. The ISO released a study on installed capacity requirements Feb. 14.

The ISO forecast New York City to have 10,535 MW of peak load this summer. There must be 8,428 MW of capacity to meet demand reliability. The balance is met with imports. But currently there are only 8,132 MW of capacity on line in the city. An additional 296 MW are needed to be up and running to avoid short falls and meet reserve requirements.

Long Island is not much better off.

Long Island falls short of capacity by 131 MW required to meet an anticipated load of 4,733 MW. Long Island has 4,507 MW of existing capacity.

New capacity of 396 MW and 146 MW has been proposed to be online by June 1 for New York City and Long Island respectively. If all the capacity proposed gets built in time, the shortfalls will be covered, ISO said.

These two areas have installed capacity requirements. For New York City, installed capacity must be 80% of the peak load for the year. Long Island requires a 107% requirement. The ISO recommends that the 80% requirement remain for New York City but Long Island’s could be relaxed to 98% and still meet reliability standards.

The rest of New York State is not forecast to have any shortfalls of capacity.