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Storm leaves tens of thousands without power as New York declares state of emergency

Highlights

Over 18,000 customers without power

Power prices at average levels

New York — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday declared a state of emergency in seven counties as a large winter storm knocked out power to thousands of customers.

"As parts of the state continue to face severe winter weather and dangerous driving conditions, I am declaring a State of Emergency in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga and Ulster Counties and am deploying 300 members of the National Guard to assist with ongoing operations," Cuomo said in a statement.

By late Monday morning, areas throughout the Capital Region had seen more than 12 inches of snow, with areas in the Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Mid-Hudson Regions seeing up to eight inches in some areas, the governor's office said.

As the storm continues throughout Monday and into Tuesday morning, areas in the Capital Region could receive an additional eight inches of snow.

The states' utilities, particularly in the northern and western regions, had reported over 18,000 customers without power as of mid-afternoon. Most were in the New York State Electric and Gas territory where 18,165 customer outages were reported.

Orange and Rockland utilities had 388 customer outages, and Con Edison said it had 472 customers without power, according to their outage maps.

PRICES AT NORMAL LEVELS

Despite power demand slightly outstripping the New York Independent System Operator's forecast by mid-afternoon, power prices remained at average levels. Total New York State load reached 20,122 MW at about 2:30 pm compared with a forecast of just under 19,000 MW around that time.

New York's all-time winter demand peak was set in 2014, during multi-day polar vortex conditions that pushed demand to 25,738 MW.

Real-time power prices averaged between $24/MWh to $26/MWh in most zones December 2, with prices higher in New York City and Long Island where real-time prices were $26.50/MWh and $43/MWh respectively, according to the NYISO.

Average all-in third-quarter 2019 power prices in all areas ranged from $22/MWh in the North Zone to $57/MWh in New York City, down 14% to 42% from Q3 2018, according to the independent market monitor's recently released state of the market report.

Overall, S&P Global Platts Analytics' outlook for the coming winter's electricity prices in downstate New York is higher than last winter's, driven primarily by expectations of higher gas prices in New York.

The NYISO fuel mix by mid-afternoon consisted of 32% nuclear power, 22% natural gas, 21% dual fuel, 23% hydro power, 0.63% wind and 0.3% other fossil fuels, according to NYISO data.

-- Jared Anderson, jared.anderson@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Rocco Canonica, newsdesk@spglobal.com