Faced with the prospect of electricity demand rising 80 percent above normal use on hot days, the probability of New York having blackouts or brownouts is very real. The impacts would be devastating for the millions of New York residents and vital medical, food service, and transportation industries. Air conditioner users – worry not. In late May, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) indicated it would be ready to meet peak demand this summer. As of today, NYISO has met this burden.
“The development of new demand response resources and the addition of generation and expansion of interstate transmission over the past several years have contributed to a more reliable system. As a result, the state has sufficient generating capacity and demand side resources to address expected peak usage this summer,” said NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley.
Ratepayers and air quality enthusiasts, however, do have reason to worry. Hazy and humid days require cooling off for our most vulnerable populations, including seniors and people afflicted with asthma. Unlike dirty fossil fuel plants, nuclear power does not contribute to electricity price spikes or toxic air emissions. In fact, nuclear energy is not only safe, but arguably the sole reason why our electrical system is so reliable in New York State.
NYISO agrees. At a NYS Assembly hearing, they stated, all things equal, without Indian Point, they “would have to shed load.” In laymen terms, this means cascading blackouts.”
Regardless of where you stand on nuclear power, the facts support the plant. In this extreme weather environment of heat wave after heat wave, and the rising prospect of transitioning to electricity as a fuel source, we need protect the assets which protect our environment and sustain our economy. This includes the continued operation and license renewal for Indian Point.
Thanks to NYISO and Indian Point we can stay cool and keep the lights on this summer and beyond.
For more tips on energy savings, see my previous blog on Patch.com.