N. Y. Power Authority CEO Calls For Prudent And Wise Use Of Electricity During Heat Wave:  State Public Power Utility Working With N.Y.C. Government and Business Customers to Ensure Reliable Electricity Service

Michael Saltzman
914-263-8504 (cell)

July 5, 2010


NEW YORK—With the possibility of an extended heat spell this week, New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel is reminding New York State electric consumers to conserve energy by being vigilant in their use of fixtures, appliances and equipment.  Such watchfulness will help to ensure the reliability of the electric power system with minimal impact on the comfort levels of electricity users.

For its part, the Power Authority has undertaken numerous measures to prepare for the summer, including providing business and government customers with options for participating in demand response programs for reducing their electricity use on the hottest, muggiest days. The initiatives include a Peak Load Management Program for participating customers in New York City.  NYPA has notified those customers that it may activate the program for Tuesday, July 6, based on the forecasts of hot weather and predicted electricity usage. 

Other Power Authority initiatives in support of reliable electricity service include its carrying out of maintenance on generation and transmission facilities prior to the summer; an upgrade of a peak-demand hydroelectric facility in the Northern Catskills; and operator training to reinforce summer preparedness, including storm-related restoration procedures or in the unlikely event of power supply shortages or disruptions. 

“We’re now in that time of year when demand for power is greatest as air-conditioners increase overall electricity usage,” Kessel said. “The New York Power Authority has taken the steps necessary for ensuring that we’re prepared to meet the challenges of the summer when the gap between demand for power and available generating supplies narrows the most, and generating and transmission facilities are most heavily utilized. This is the time for everyone to be mindful of the sensible ways to cut back on power use to ensure the reliability of the electric power system, which is crucial to public health and safety, particularly during extremely hot weather.”

NYPA’s power demand response efforts, which include statewide programs by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), involve commitments by customers to reduce electricity use by more than 280 megawatts, if called upon. (The NYISO is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid.)   

The Peak Load Management Program that NYPA may be implementing in New York City on Tuesday has already been activated twice this summer. The program can be activated up to 15 weekdays from June 1 to September 30. The Power Authority provides incentive payments for the customers to cut back on their electricity use during the peak reduction events.   

Participants in the program include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Police Department, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Among the other NYPA electricity customers in the program are The New York Times, the Bank of New York and Citigroup, which commit to reduce their load in emergency situations. 

The energy-saving measures undertaken by the participants at approximately 100 locations in the city include curtailing or shutting off nonessential lighting and discretionary equipment such as extra elevators or escalators, turning off pumps for ornamental fountains, and limiting the cooling of buildings. 

Kessel noted that residential electricity users can reduce their electricity use by taking a similar practical approach to curb nonessential electric consumption.  Among the energy-saving tips he cited are:

--Turning off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use;
--Putting air-conditioners on timers when home;
--Setting air-conditioners at 78 degrees;
--Using fans to circulate cool air;
--Setting refrigerators and freezers at most efficient temperatures;
--And running major appliances such as clothes and dishwashers in the morning or late evening to avoid the peak-demand hours of 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

Regarding its statewide operations, the Power Authority has taken the necessary steps to ensure that generation and transmission assets are ready to meet the anticipated summer demand.

The Power Authority’s hydroelectric and clean natural gas generating facilities in upstate and downstate regions combine for more than 5,500 megawatts of power, with the Authority meeting up to one-quarter of New York’s electricity needs from its power generation and purchases of economical power from other suppliers.  (One megawatt is enough electricity for serving 800 to 1,000 average homes.) 

NYPA’s power lines, which account for about one-third of the state’s high-voltage transmission system, extend from its hydroelectric projects on the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers, the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in the Northern Catskills, and the Frederick R. Clark Energy Center, near Utica, which coordinates the flow of electricity from the Authority’s 17 generating facilities around the state.

As part of the measures for ensuring the summer reliability of the generating and transmission facilities, the Power Authority last month completed aerial inspections of its 1,400-circuit-miles of transmission lines.


About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority 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 public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.


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