Power Authority Activates Electric Load Reduction Program Wednesday for New York City

Michael Saltzman

July 21, 2004


NEW YORK—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) activated its Peak Load Management (PLM) program Wednesday for the first time this summer due to the hot weather, with some of its large government and business customers in New York City asked to cut back on electricity at more than 80 locations.

“The Power Authority’s Peak Load Management program is part of a coordinated effort under Governor George E. Pataki to ensure that New York City and New York State have a safe margin of generating capacity to meet electricity demand on the hottest days of the year,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “Over the last five summers, the program has been one of the mainstays for managing power supplies when air conditioners are on overdrive, testing the reliability of electricity service in the city.”

Participating PLM customers receive $40 for each kilowatt of electricity they commit to reduce when called on during the high-demand months, from June through September. NYPA may make such requests for up to 15 weekdays, with the standard duration of the reductions up to six hours (12 noon-6 p.m.).

Based on weather forecasts, NYPA issued notices Tuesday of the possible activation of the program, followed by confirmation notices Wednesday morning of the plans for the PLM event. Day-ahead notices have also gone out for a possible event day Thursday.

Among the participating Power Authority customers—all of which agreed to participate in the program beforehand—are the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the City University of New York and Citibank. Together, the PLM participants account for a load reduction of 62 megawatts (mw).

They achieve the power cutbacks through such measures as turning off nonessential lighting and computers, adjusting air-conditioner settings, running fewer elevators and shutting down decorative fountains.

The Power Authority also supports similar load-reduction programs by the Long Island Power Authority and the New York Independent System Operator that include additional NYPA customers on Long Island and in New York City and other areas of the state. These initiatives, along with the PLM program, combine for a peak-load reduction of more than 177 mw that is directly related to NYPA’s efforts.

The various programs fall under a Coordinated Energy Demand Reduction Initiative led by Governor Pataki for lessening the statewide summer peak load by more than 950 mw, or about the output of a large power plant.