NYPA Requests N.Y.C. Power Cutbacks Thursday

Michael Saltzman                        
(914) 390-8181

August 4, 2005


NEW YORK—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Thursday activated its Peak Load Management (PLM) program here in anticipation of possible record power demand from the extremely hot weather.

Participating government and business customers in New York City have been asked to reduce electricity use to limit the power carried over transmission lines from power plants outside the city, between 12 noon and 6 p.m. Reliability requirements provide that in-city power plants meet a minimum of 80 percent of the peak demand of the five boroughs.

“The New York Power Authority’s Peak Load Management Program helps handle the spikes in power demand from the increased air-conditioner use during heat waves like this,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “The program, which is one of various energy-management initiatives under Governor Pataki’s leadership, really makes a difference on those summer days when demand for power pushes up against available capacity.”

Zeltmann noted that in addition to enhancing reliability, the program contributes toward lowering overall electricity prices, which tend to rise as the margins between demand and electricity supplies narrow.

A total of 14 NYPA customers are participating in the PLM program—now in its sixth year—at 93 locations. Together, they’ve committed to reduce their electricity use by a total of 61 megawatts (mw), or about the power demand of more than 60,000 homes.

Participants cut back through such measures as turning off nonessential lighting and computers, adjusting air-conditioner settings, running fewer elevators and shutting down decorative fountains.

Among those participating are the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the City University of New York, and Citibank.

NYPA pays $40 for each kilowatt (kw) of electricity the participating customers commit to reduce. It can schedule PLM events for up to 15 weekdays, from June 1 through September 30, with the cutbacks limited from two to six hours, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Customers are given a day-ahead alert and a two-hour notice on the day of the event, confirming the program’s activation.

The Power Authority supports similar load-reduction programs that include additional NYPA customers in other parts of the state. Those initiatives, along with the PLM program, combine for a potential peak-load reduction of about 275 mw linked to NYPA’s efforts.

The peak-demand initiatives complement major energy-efficiency programs that the Power Authority has undertaken for public facilities throughout the state. Those programs, which include high efficiency lighting, and new heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems and electric motors, have lowered statewide electricity bills by more than $90 million a year and electricity use by about 190,000 kw, or the output of a midsized power plant. They’ve also contributed to curbing greenhouse gas emissions by about 705,000 tons a year.