New York power grid ready for heat wave, despite reactor shutdown

Wed Jul 3, 2013 5:30pm EDT
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By Scott DiSavino

July 3 (Reuters) - The New York power grid said on Wednesday it is prepared to keep consumers' air conditioners humming early next week when a heat wave bakes the Big Apple even though a giant nuclear power reactor at Indian Point was shut this week.

"We are monitoring the weather and projected loads. As of today, we expect to have adequate resources to meet the demand," Dave Flanagan, a spokesman at the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), said in answer to a question about next week's supply and demand situation.

The NYISO operates the power grid in New York.

Entergy Corp, which owns and operates Indian Point, said it expects the 1,006-megawatt (MW) Unit 2 at the plant to return to service over the next couple of days.

The reactor, which shut early Wednesday after the pumps that feed water to its steam generators shutdown automatically, is the third biggest power unit in New York.

Power traders said the loss of the Indian Point reactor now is not good because of the coming heat wave, but they also said it was not devastating to the reliability of the grid because many businesses will shut for the next four days, cutting power usage, for the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

"It's never good to lose a reactor in the summer but if you are going to lose one - the Fourth of July weekend is a good time," one trader said.

"The health of the grid depends on how hot it gets next week and how long the reactor remains shut," the trader added.   Continued...