Heat pushes NYISO power demand to near record level

Rensselaer, N.Y., July 22, 2011 — New York State's peak electricity usage reached 33,454 MW yesterday, as a week of rising temperatures pushed power consumption to the third highest peak on record, according to the New York Independent System Operator. The July 21 peak occurred between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The July 21 peak load was 485 MW lower than the NYISO's all-time record peak of 33,939 MW, which occurred on August 2, 2006, and 425 MW lower than the second highest peak of 33,879 MW, which occurred on August 1, 2006. Yesterday's peak was 2 MW higher than the 2010 peak of 33,452 MW, which occurred on July 6, 2010.

Yesterday, the NYISO called for the activation of demand response programs in the downstate region to help manage load between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. There are more than 800 MW of demand response resources enrolled in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.

Today, the NYISO called for activation of its demand response programs statewide. There are more than 2,000 MW of demand response resources available across New York State to reduce usage at critical times.

Peak loads are measurements of the average total electric demand by consumers for a one-hour period. Power demand can spike sharply during extreme summer weather conditions as air conditioning and cooling systems increase electricity consumption. For example, the 2010 peak load of 33,452 MW was nearly 80 percent higher than last year's average daily demand of 18,665 MW. One megawatt of electricity is enough to power between 800 and 1,500 homes.

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