Northeast Power Coordinating Council foresees no summer 2016 issues

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) on April 28 released a study projecting that its region (consisting of the six New England states, New York, Ontario, Québec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) will have an adequate supply of electricity this summer, even during periods of extreme weather.

A wide range of assumptions were analyzed, including extreme weather conditions derived through over 40 years of experience, unexpected generating plant outages, transmission constraints between and within regions, implementation of operating procedures and estimated impact of demand response programs.

Approximately 3,615 MW of new capacity has been installed since last summer which includes projects expected to be in service over the course of this summer. No delays to the in-service dates of new generating capacity are anticipated. Considering the retirements, derating, and other adjustments, the resultant net change in NPCC generation (from 2015 summer through 2016 summer) is approximately 2,715 MW.

For New York City and throughout New York State, an adequate supply of electricity is forecast this summer. From the summer of 2015 through this summer, several changes to generation in New York have occurred. The mothballing of the Astoria gas turbines No. 8, 10 & 11 (83 MW), the coal-fired Huntley Units 67 & 68 (218 MW each), the coal-fired Dunkirk Unit 2 (100 MW) and the retirement of Ravenswood Units 4-6 (64 MW) total 683 MW. Considering all changes and other capacity adjustments (518 MW), the resultant net change for New York generation (from summer 2015 through this summer) is -165 MW.

New England expects to have a sufficient supply of electricity this summer. From the summer of 2015 through this summer, 229 MW of new generating capacity (primarily wind) has been added to the New England system. There were no retirements reported for New England. Considering all changes and other capacity adjustments (-308 MW), the resultant net change for New England generation (from summer 2015 through this summer) is -79 MW.

Ontario is projected to have a sufficient supply of electricity this summer. From the summer of 2015 through this summer, capacity additions total 2,267 MW, consisting of wind generation (1,440 MW), solar (240 MW), hydro units (42 MW), biomass projects (208 MW), the Green Electron gas-fired power plant (298 MW) and other capacity adjustments (39 MW). Retirements reduce this total by – 53 MW. Considering all changes, the resultant net change for Ontario generation (from summer 2015 through this summer) is +2,214 MW.

Québec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces have more than an adequate supply of electricity forecast for the summer period. Both of these areas are winter peaking. Normal hydro conditions are expected for this summer. Since the summer of 2015 and through this summer, Hydro-Québec Production has added the La Romaine-1 generator (270 MW), and 379 MW of wind generation. Considering all changes and other capacity adjustments (22 MW), the resultant net change for Quebec generation (from summer 2015 through this summer) is +671 MW. Since the summer of 2015 and through this summer, the Maritimes will have added 47 MW of wind generation and 7 MW of biomass generation. Considering a small amount of tidal projects (6 MW) and other capacity adjustments (15 MW), the net change to Maritimes generation (from summer 2015 through this summer) is +75 MW.

The study noted that the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) forecasts installed capacity of 30,247 MW for the peak week demand forecast of 26,704 MW. Accounting for purchases, sales, required operating reserve, planned and unplanned outages results in an operable spare capacity margin of 740 MW for the peak week. Natural gas pipeline construction and maintenance is expected to occur throughout the summer capacity period; adequate natural gas pipeline capacity serving New England is anticipated throughout the summer, provided gas supply and transportation is scheduled within each pipeline’s posted capability and natural gas supplies are available. ISO New England has procedures available to mitigate regional fuel supply emergencies to maintain system reliability, if needed.

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.