New York Electricity Options From Accent Energy
As you walk through the concrete canyons of New York City at night, it's hard to believe there was a time before the buildings were lit with electric light. The most famous lights, of course, are those in Times Square. The video screens and billboards at the "crossroads of the world" get their electricity from the same sources as the eight million people in the City. How much electricity is used in New York City? How many power plants are needed to keep the city juiced? Here are the answers to those questions and more.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission splits New York State into eleven geographic zones. New York City is labeled Zone J; though this area is quite small when compared with others, the population density makes it disproportionately important. The New York ISO notes that, though the specific level fluctuates over time, the approximate energy capacity of New York City is 5 gigawatts. According to the New York Power Authority, there are six power generation sites within the borders of the City. Interestingly, none are actually on the island of Manhattan, though all of them are clumped opposite the island around the Hudson River. Having such a diversified reserve of energy is not just a good idea; it's a vital matter of defense. Should something terrible happen in New York, power is less likely to be interrupted because electricity is being generated at a number of geographically separate areas. It would be difficult for such a big city to generate all of its own power. The New York City Energy Policy Task Force clarifies how much electricity is imported into the City. 1000 megawatts is channeled through New Jersey and 300 megawatts comes from Long Island. A whopping 3,700 megawatts of electricity that powers the bright lights of the big city comes from Westchester County.
One of New York's biggest strengths is also one of its biggest challenges. It's extremely convenient to have your entire world crammed into a small number of city blocks. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to make sure that all of those people have the energy they need, particularly at peak times. During New York City winters, people's living spaces are not generally heated with electric appliances. In the long, hot summer, however, New Yorkers love to crank their air conditioning to beat the "heat island" effect. Those air conditioners are kept humming by electricity. The spike in demand on the hottest days of the year can cause a lot of problems, including city-wide blackouts. The 2003 Northeast Blackout started hundreds of miles away, but the strain on New York City's power grid made things worse.
New Yorkers also love change, and that includes boosting the City's power capacity. In a 2004 report, the New York City Energy Policy Task Force explained the need to add local electricity generation. The need remains because a continuously growing population is going to use more energy and will use it in new ways. The City is full of big thinkers and some of them have proposed the creation of wind power farms in and around the five boroughs. (Don't worry; those plans take into account every New Yorker's biggest concern: the price and limited quantity of real estate.)
New Yorkers pride themselves on having the biggest and the best. This ambition extends to hopes for the future. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed noble energy goals as part of PlaNYC, a series of action steps that he hopes will address important problems by 2030. In addition to forcing the government to use electricity more efficiently, the ambition is to blend in power generated with renewable resources, which would also go a long way toward keeping the price down for everyone.
No matter how much you plan, the unanticipated will happen. That's why emergency generators are a significant part of the New York City energy equation. While emergency generators are not practical for all energy consumers, they are a necessity for some. The New York Stock Exchange, for example, is a building that needs uninterrupted power. Think about it: if you've just bought or sold a stock, you don't want any power problems to get in the way of the transaction. That's why buildings that house the Stock Exchange and similar agencies are equipped with backup generators that rumble to life should the regular municipal supply be interrupted.
The City That Never Sleeps is unique in so many ways, and this also goes for its energy concerns. Thanks to the cooperation of governmental agencies, utility companies and independent energy suppliers like Accent Energy, New York City power consumers will continue to get the power they need at the price they want.