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Peak Demand Reduction Program Activated by N.Y. Power Authority Monday for Participating Customers in N.Y.C.

Connie Cullen

June 9, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 

NEW YORK—An initiative by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for reducing electricity usage at the time of peak electrical demand in New York City got going Monday with the Authority’s activation of its Peak Load Management (PLM) program—a highly successful partnership with customers for reducing electricity demand here. 

The Power Authority gave notice to PLM participants on Friday of its plans to activate the program, based on forecasts of hot weather and predicted electricity usage. In addition to the implementation of the program on Monday, NYPA is providing a day-ahead notice of a possible PLM event for Tuesday based on the latest forecasts. This is only the second time in the history of the 10-year-old PLM program that an event was activated in the first 10 days of June. The first time was on June 8, 2005. 

Those participating in the program this year are committed to lowering their grid power usage through various measures by a total of almost 61 megawatts (mw), which would be the amount of power required by almost 48,000 homes. Participating customers include the City of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York State Office of General Services and larger business customers throughout the city. 

Saturday through today marks the first heat wave of 2008 with weather forecasts approaching the 100-degree mark and heat indexes exceeding 105 degrees for Monday and Tuesday. Forecasts are showing loads in excess of 13,000 mw for both days. 

“This is the tenth summer that we’ve teamed up with some of our largest government and business customers to cut electricity use on days like today when the margins between available power supply and demand narrow the most,” said Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “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. (Monday’s PLM event was scheduled to be between noon and 6 p.m.) 

The energy-saving 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 nearly 75 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. 

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 217 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.  

As of March 31, 2008, the Power Authority has invested more than $670 million on energy efficiency projects at over 1,400 facilities in the five boroughs, lowering peak electricity use by about 102 mw and electric bills almost $64 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 to one-third 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.  ■   For more information, please go to

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