New York Survives 4PM

on July 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

The New York state electricity system operator spent the day on customers to reduce load across the afternoon as it prepared to reach a peak of 34,100MW shortly after 4pm.

“We’re keeping track of the load as it approaches the peak period,” New York Independent System Operator spokesman Ken Klapp told Breaking Energy.

The transmission grid operator called on roughly 1,000MW of load reductions at 1pm EST and could call on further reductions by customers if there are signs of trouble at a major generating unit, Klapp said. The system operator had warned generators yesterday it expected to call on demand reduction programs.

To read more about how utilities prepared for the heat wave, read: Heat Is On For Electricity Sector.

The operator was monitoring the situation but did not expecting trouble, noting that the load demand had flattened at roughly 32,900MW shortly after 2pm EST.

“There is always a chance of losing one large unit that could change things,” Klapp said, although “most every” generator in the state’s system is available today.

The forecast high for New York today is 97 degrees farenheit but the heat factor made it feel like 106 degrees, prompting heavy use of air conditioning. Air conditioning is the primary factor behind electricity use in the Northeast, and with tomorrow’s temperatures expected to climb further, the pressure is not yet off for transmission grid operators or electricity generators awaiting cooling temperatures.

The prospects of blackouts or electricity interruptions are particularly keenly felt in New York City, which was at the center of a multi-state blackout in the summer of 2003 after a distant generation plant tripped offline. Large office buildings have already begun trimming back non-essential electricity use in the city.

Photo Caption: A woman sits on the promenade near Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of New York City on July 21, 2011 as people try different ways to beat the hot weather. Heat indexes are expected to reach near 105F degrees (40.5 c).