Statement by Eugene W.
Zeltmann, President and Chief Executive Officer, New York Power
August 14, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reports that Thursday's power outage was caused by a lightning strike at
the New York Power Authority's (NYPA) Niagara hydroelectric project in
Lewiston were totally erroneous.
The 2,400-megawatt (mw) Niagara Project not only was not struck by
lightning, but it continued to operate throughout the outage. For
several hours after the outage began, Niagara, the state's largest power
generator, and NYPA's 800-mw St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydro
project in Massena were the only major power plants operating in New
remained in service when the outage began because, as large
hydroelectric projects, they were able to withstand the shock to the
power system. Other types of power plants are not equipped to do so.
Niagara and St. Lawrence-FDR operated continuously throughout the
outage, generally at close to their maximum capacity.
Shortly after 7
p.m., the Power
Authority's Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in
partial operation. As of about 10 p.m., the Power Authority was meeting
close to 45 percent of the state's total electricity load, with Niagara
supplying 2,449 megawatts, above its rated output; St. Lawrence-FDR
producing 902 mw and the 1,040-mw Blenheim-Gilboa project generating 426
mw. In addition, NYPA small hydroelectric projects in various parts of
the state were producing a total of 17 mw.