Summer power to be tight in Northeast US

Sufficient electricity will be available to meet anticipated customer demand in New York and New England this summer. But operating reserves could be insufficient to comply with reserve margin criteria during certain peak load periods, says the Northeast Power Coordinating Council.


Sufficient electricity is expected to be available in New York and New England this summer. But operating reserves could be insufficient to comply with reserve margin criteria during certain peak load periods, says the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, the organization responsible for overseeing electric power grid reliability in the area.

NPCC officials acknowledge the overall supply situation on hot and humid days this summer will be tight in some parts of the NPCC region. However, the NPCC says, appropriate actions have been taken by grid operators to maximize the availability of supplies and minimize the potential for any bulk power disruptions. The NPCC region includes the New York and New England power grids, as well as the power grids of Ontario, Quebec, and the maritime provinces of Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island).

"We expect that both New York and New England will experience tight supply situations on peak demand days this summer," says Edward Schwerdt, NPCC executive director. "This means New York and New England will likely have days when operating reserves are lower than desired levels, but both grid operators have procedures in place to respond to such situations." These procedures include calling upon neighboring grids for additional supplies, reducing demand by invoking interruptible contracts with certain large customers, and asking the public to conserve electricity during peak demand.

Steps have been taken to maximize the availability of power plants and extensive inspections and routine maintenance have been performed on high voltage transmission lines, he says. The NPCC provides operational coordination between the NPCC grid operators. Because the grids are interconnected, power can be moved between grids. Under emergency conditions, NPCC says it will facilitate delivery of excess supply to where it is most needed this summer to maintain bulk power system reliability throughout the region.

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