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Adequate power supply projected this summer for eastern Canada, northeast US

New York, New England and eastern Canada will have enough supply to meet their electricity needs this summer, a new report by the Northeast Power Coordinating Council found.

In its annual summer reliability assessment released May 15, regional reliability organization Northeast Power Coordinating Council, or NPCC, forecast peak electricity demand of 104,137 MW in July, which is 1% or about 1,100 MW lower than the previous year's forecast summer peak. The report said the forecast is in-line with an ongoing trend in recent years of flattening and declining peak demand.

NPCC President and CEO Edward Schwerdt attributed the lower peak demand on improvements in energy efficiency and greater contributions from behind-the-meter solar panels that together "are more than offsetting load growth."

The report used 40 years of historical data and thousands of computer-simulated scenarios with varying system and weather conditions to forecast its predictions for a region that includes New York, New England's six states, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.

"Hot, muggy weather resulting in the heavy use of air conditioning remains the single largest factor affecting peak electricity demand during the summer months," said Schwerdt in a media briefing. "If conditions warrant, such as an extended heat wave, established operating procedures are available to maintain reliability within the region this summer."

During the NPCC forecast coincident peak load week, which starts July 8, the overall capacity above reserve requirements, known as spare operable capacity, for the region is projected to be 17,275 MW. The forecast for spare operable capacity margin — or spare operable capacity minus transfer capability limitations — during that week accordingly is 12,056 MW. However, the week starting June 24 is projected to have the lowest operable capacity margin at an estimated 10,310 MW, the forecast said.

As a whole, the NPCC region will have 3,753 MW of new capacity installed since last summer, which will result in a net capacity gain of 2,951 MW for the region after factoring in retirements, derating and other adjustments.

The summer forecast peak load for New York City and New York state is 274 MW lower than last summer's forecast, but the state will see a net increase of 744 MW thanks to new, primarily dual fuel generation resources. That includes the new 820-MW natural gas-fired CPV Valley Energy Center power plant in Orange County, N.Y., co-owned by private equity firm Global Infrastructure Management Participation LLC through subsidiary Competitive Power Ventures Holdings LLC and Mitsubishi Corp. through subsidiary Diamond Generating Corp.

New England's summer forecast peak demand is 753 MW lower than the corresponding 2017 forecast. New England also will have a net capacity increase of 1,048 MW thanks to new, primarily gas-fired and dual-fuel generation resources. Ontario is projected to have a summer forecast peak demand that is 612 MW lower than last summer's forecast, with a net capacity gain of 255 MW thanks to new generation that consists primarily of wind and solar resources.

Quebec's summer peak demand forecast is 28 MW higher than last year's summer forecast while the summer peak demand forecast for the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is 15 MW higher than last year's forecast.