Hot Weather Leads N.Y. Power Authority to Activate Summer Power Demand Reduction Program to Support Reliable Electricity Service in NYC

Maura Balaban
(914) 390-8171

July 8, 2013


NEW YORK—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced Monday the first activation this summer of a program to reduce electricity use at public-facility locations in New York City in response to anticipated higher energy demand on hot and humid days.

NYPA’s Peak Reduction Program, which can be operated for up to 15 days between June 1 and September 1, features voluntary commitments by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the City University of New York to lower electricity use at 20 New York City locations during the highest-demand days of the air-conditioning season to help ensure reliable supplies of electricity.  In addition to today’s initiation of the program, NYPA has issued a day-ahead notice of the possible activation of the program tomorrow.   

“The electric power system experiences its greatest challenges during the hottest summer days when demand for air-conditioning skyrockets and the margins between available generating capacity and electricity use narrow the most,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “NYPA’s Peak Reduction Program helps stabilize the power grid by encouraging our customers to cut back on nonessential energy use during brief periods. This is one facet of the multidimensional efforts under Governor Cuomo to improve the reliability of the power system.”

Under the Peak Reduction Program, NYPA’s New York City governmental customers are committed to curtail a total of nearly 14 megawatts (MW) of electricity when called upon through a day-ahead notification process. The duration of the reductions is limited to two to six hours, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. (One megawatt is enough electricity to meet the power needs of 800 to 1,000 typical homes.)

NYPA meets the electricity needs of thousands of public facilities and services in New York City, including schools, hospitals and the subways and commuter trains.  In addition to providing lower cost electricity for significant savings on electric bills, NYPA works with the governmental customers in the city on year-round energy efficiency initiatives that have resulted in annual savings of more than $92 million and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 559,000 tons a year. 

Participating customers in the summer Peak Reduction Program reduce their electricity use with conservation measures such as shutting off nonessential lighting and discretionary equipment. In return for the power curtailment, NYPA pays participants $25 per kilowatt reduced, for an expected outlay that could total hundreds of thousands of dollars by summer’s end.

The Peak Reduction Program, now in its 14th summer, is one of several options, under a NYPA demand response portfolio known as Peak Load Management. Those options, which include statewide programs by the New York Independent System Operator, involve commitments by eligible NYPA customers to reduce electricity by more than 54 MW. 

The Power Authority’s own comprehensive summer preparedness efforts across the state involve appropriate maintenance of its 16 generating facilities, which have a total combined capacity of approximately 5,450 MW, and of 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines, to ensure full strength for meeting the summer’s higher electricity demand.

About NYPA:

The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. ■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■ For more information visit or follow @NYPAenergy on Twitter.

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