May 28, 2020

Pandemic lowered state’s electricity demand by up to 10%, NYISO says

Pandemic lowered state's electricity demand by up to 10%, NYISO says

The NYISO control room is windowless and darkened to better display the depiction of the state’s power grid.NYISO

ALBANY — The coronavirus pandemic has lowered the demand on the state’s electricity grid by between 8% and 10%, the New York Independent System Operator announced Thursday.

The grid is expected to have adequate capacity for baseline peak weather conditions at 38,475 megawatts, but a slight projected deficit of 193 megawatts in cases of an extreme weather event like a heat wave. In that case, NYISO is confident that it could call upon its emergency operating procedures, said Wes Yeomans, NYISO’s vice president of operations.

The pandemic has not materially impacted the operator’s peak summer load projections.

“We’re very satisfied that New York State’s infrastructure is going to work very well this summer,” he said.

The all-time peak strain on the grid’s capacity came in the summer of 2013 at 33,965 megawatts, NYISO reported.

This year’s summer generation capacity of 38,475 megawatts is slightly lower than last year’s capacity of 39,295, NYISO reported. That can be attributed to the closures of some power-generating facilities across the state.

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