Running all out, NYISO generators were able to beat the heat

After six days of sweltering heat throughout the Northeast, New York state successfully met a new record peak demand for electricity of 33,956 MW on July 19, said the New York ISO in a July 22 statement.

Thanks to excellent performance by market participants’ generation and transmission assets, demand response programs, inter-regional coordination and a large supply of available wind power, supply was able to meet demand, NYISO added.

“The duration and large regional impact of last week’s heat wave made it particularly challenging,” said NYISO President and CEO Stephen Whitley. “However, our markets and system assets—including generating plants, transmission facilities and demand response programs—all performed very well throughout the duration of a very long and hot week.”

“We employed an array of resources to reliably meet the record demand for electricity,” added Whitley. “The high level of asset availability and performance, combined with the excellent work of our system operators, enabled us to successfully manage the long heat wave.”

Some highlights from the record-breaking day on July 19, include:

Markets at Work: Competitive wholesale electricity markets provide strong incentives for power plants to be up and running during periods of peak demand. On July 19, every available generator in New York was committed and online. In addition, NYISO’s demand response programs were activated every day of that week to help manage demand, particularly in the historically congested areas of the lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.

Inter-Regional Coordination: The NYISO and neighboring regions – including ISO New England, PJM Interconnection, Hydro Quebec and Ontario – continue to work together on initiatives to improve coordination and communication among grid operators. On July 19, the NYISO was able to import power from the Ontario and the PJM regions while, at the same time, exporting power to ISO New England for most of the day.

Wind Power: On many very hot days, winds are very light or non-existent. However, on July 19, the NYISO got a boost from more than 1,000 MW of wind power throughout much of the day.

Challenges Highlighted: The extreme conditions of the heat wave clearly identified the need for targeted transmission system upgrades. Portions of the lower Hudson Valley and Western New York experienced significant levels of transmission congestion. “Alleviating historical congestion points in our electric grid would improve reliability, lower energy costs and improve our flexibility for meeting challenging events like last week’s heat wave,” said Whitley.

The daily peak loads recorded in New York were 32,703 MW (July 15), 32,361 MW (July 16), 33,254 MW (July 17), 33,450 MW (July 18), and 33,956 MW (July 19). The previous record peak of 33,939 MW was set on Aug. 2, 2006.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.