Democrats’ Climate Agenda Pushes New York’s Power Grid To The Brink, Warns Operator

New York’s power grid operator, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), has sounded the alarm over the state’s accelerated push for electrification and the rapid phaseout of fossil fuels. In its recently released 2024 Power Trends report, NYISO warns that the Democrats’ green energy agenda, spearheaded by Governor Kathy Hochul, is increasing the risk of blackouts in the state, possibly as soon as this summer.

The report emphasizes the critical need to maintain an adequate power supply to keep pace with the growing consumer demand for electricity during this time of rapid transition. NYISO President and CEO Rich Dewey stressed that achieving a balance between clean energy production and reliable power supply will be the central challenge for the industry over the next decade.

New York’s increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and electric heating systems is driving up electricity demand, while fossil fuel-fired power plants are being retired faster than new green energy generation can be brought online to replace the lost capacity. The report reveals that since 2019, the amount of capacity taken offline has been more than twice the amount of new capacity added.

Moreover, the report identifies new semiconductor facilities and other energy-intensive economic projects as potential drivers of increased overall demand in the coming years.

Under extreme summer weather conditions, such as a heatwave with an average daily temperature of 95 degrees lasting three or more days, the state could face a forecasted reliability margin of -1,419 MW. This margin deteriorates further to -3,093 MW under an extreme heatwave with an average daily temperature of 98 degrees.

As New York pursues its goal of a net-zero emissions power grid by 2040, experts caution that this target will likely require the shutdown of even more natural gas-fired generation, replacing it with intermittent sources like solar and wind. This transition could further increase the grid’s susceptibility to blackouts.