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New York faces growing risk of power outages from cold waves in next decade — study

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 06:14 PM
Tan KW
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New York state could suffer more frequent and severe power outages during prolonged cold snaps as electricity demand surges and renewable energy grows in the next decade, a study by the state's grid operator found on Wednesday.

The New York Independent System Operator's (NYISO) 2023-2032 reliability plan also flagged risks to New York City's power supply from any unplanned delays in the construction of new power lines that is expected to finish in spring 2026.

Those power lines, dubbed the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, would connect New York City to 1,250 MW of hydropower in Quebec, but delays would leave the city without sufficient power reserves starting in 2026, the study said.

Last week, NYISO postponed the retirement of four floating natural gas-fired power plants, planned for May 2025, by two years to keep the power supply reliable in New York City.

"NYISO will need to rely significantly on dual-fuel generation resources to support winter system reliability into the next decade," the study said, referring to power plants that can run on natural gas and oil.

While planned power generation facilities will suffice to meet forecasted demand during normal weather through 2032, the study said that risks to grid reliability persist from extreme weather events and the electrification of building heating and transportation sectors.

On Monday, New York was awarded nearly US$24 million in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to harden its electric infrastructure against extreme weather and natural disasters.

The study warned that deficiencies could emerge as early as winter 2027-2028 for an extreme once-in-100-years cold snap coupled with a gas fuel supply shortage, and this deficiency could grow to a 6,000-megawatt shortfall by winter 2032-2033.

In a June report, NYISO said that rapid electrification is boosting power demand and straining the state's electric grid, as renewable resources struggle to replace fossil fuel that is being phased out.


  - Reuters


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