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Northeast Projected to Have Adequate Power Supplies for Summer

The region encompassing the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) is projected to have adequate power supplies this summer, although portions of New England and New York could experience a very limited number of time periods when use of interruptible power contracts, voltage reductions and/or reductions in reserve requirements could be required, NPCC said on Thursday.

The regional reliability council said that the potential use of these operating procedures is more likely to be required in southwestern Connecticut, New York City and Long Island if reductions in anticipated resources and/or additional transmission limitations materialize coincident with higher than expected electricity demand. "If extreme weather, or significant unforeseen outages, or localized transmission constraints (or their combination) occur this summer in Greater Boston, established operating procedures may also be used to help maintain reliability."

NPCC said that reliable operation is anticipated in New England, New York and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes under normal summertime weather conditions. "However, under extreme weather conditions, such as a widespread and prolonged heat wave with high humidity and near record temperatures, the implementation of established operating procedures and programs could be employed to keep electricity supplies and demand in balance."

The report said that New York State as a whole forecasts an adequate supply of electricity, although the state could require significant amounts of power to be imported during peak demand periods. Generation additions netting around 810 MW are expected to be available for service prior to the summer peak. Of this total, 288 MW will be located in New York City (two 144 MW gas turbines) and 128 MW (two combustion turbines) located on Long Island. "However, the supply in New York City and Long Island could be tight, if extreme weather conditions prevail, coupled with delays in the operation of these units."

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) recently issued a warning about potential future supply deficiencies in the state between 2008 and 2011, possibly sooner in New York City and Long Island, because of the decommissioning of several existing plants and underinvestment in new generation (see NGI, April 25).

Meanwhile, NPCC said that while capacity is forecast to be adequate overall for New England, limitations on the bulk power system serving southwestern Connecticut could create reliability concerns. In order to address these reliability concerns, a combination of quick-start generation resources, demand response resources and peak load reducing conservation and load management projects representing around 218 MW of emergency supplemental capacity will be available for use this summer for southwestern Connecticut. Also, under certain conditions, established operating procedures may be used to balance supply and demand in that part of Connecticut.

ISO New England last month said that although regional electricity use could reach record-breaking levels this summer, it is forecasting that adequate supplies will be available to meet demand this summer.

Ontario forecasts adequate resources to be available to meet the expected forecast summer peak demand and energy requirements, even with the anticipated shutdown of four coal-fired units at Lakeview Generating Station. During extreme weather conditions or at a time when generator outages are greater than expected, the province may require imports from its neighbors.

Quebec and the Maritime Provinces forecast more than adequate capacity margins for the Quebec area during the summer period. Both of these areas are winter peaking regions.

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