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Peak Demand Reduction Program Activated by N.Y. Power Authority Wednesday for Participating Customers in NYC

Michael Saltzman

June 27, 2007


NEW YORK—An initiative by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for helping to ensure that New York City has sufficient power supplies during the hottest days of the summer got going Wednesday with the Authority’s activation of its Peak Load Management (PLM) program, a highly successful partnership with customers for reducing electricity demand here.

“This is the ninth summer that we’ve teamed up with some of our largest government and business customers to cut electricity use on those days of the summer when the margins between available power supply and demand narrow the most,” said Frank S. McCullough, Jr., NYPA chairman. “The reductions that we’ve achieved in lowering the demand on the power grid have made a real difference for the reliability of the city’s electricity service during heat waves.”

The Power Authority pays participating customers for each kilowatt they save on PLM days. The program allows for PLM events for up to 15 weekdays, from June 1 through September 30, limited to two to six hours, anytime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Customers include the City of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority, the New York State Office of General Services and larger business customers throughout the city. Those participating in the program this year are committed to lowering their grid power usage through various measures by a total of 55 megawatts (mw), which is about the amount of power required by 43,000 homes. (One mw equals 1,000 kilowatts.) The measures, which are being undertaken at some 100 locations, include shutting off nonessential lighting and discretionary equipment, limiting the cooling of buildings, and use of small, properly permitted, on-site generators.

The PLM program helps to meet a reliability standard requiring that 80 percent of the peak electricity demand in the city be met by generating facilities within its borders. The requirement of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which administers the state’s wholesale energy markets, is intended to limit the amount of power carried by transmission lines from outside the city.

Last summer, PLM customers, while committing to reduce their in-city electric load by 45 mw, significantly surpassed that level, lowering their demand by 84 mw on Aug. 2, when Con Edison reached a new record peak of 13,141 mw in its service area.

Various NYPA customers also participate, through the Authority, in two power curtailment programs administered by the NYISO for increasing the state’s available generating capacity when operating reserves are too low. Together with the PLM program, NYPA customers account for 140 mw of load reduction.

The Power Authority, a statewide public power utility, meets the electricity needs of the public facilities in New York City—subways, commuter trains, schools, hospitals, municipal buildings and various others—under long-term contracts that have provided hundreds of millions of dollars a year in savings. NYPA also works in partnership with those customers for year-round lowering of their utility bills through improved energy efficiency.

To date, the Power Authority has invested more than $630 million on energy efficiency projects at 1,300 facilities in the five boroughs, lowering peak electricity use by about 98 mw and electric bills by over $60 million a year. The energy-saving measures have included new fluorescent lighting; heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems; electric motors; automated energy management systems; and new-model refrigerators that use one-half of the electricity of the units they replaced at public housing apartments.


  About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA 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 is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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