August 20, 2014
Friday, July 22, 2011

Heatwave causes brownouts in NYC as power use spikes

A woman sits on the promenade near Carl Schurz Park on the Upper east Side of New York City as people try different ways to beat the hot weather.
A brutal heatwave is causing brownouts as homes and businesses in New York City and Westchester County crank up their air conditioners and could push power usage to a new all-time record today, said power provider Consolidated Edison.

Power companies across the U.S. Northeast, including Con Edison, said they had enough electricity to meet the demand, but warned heavy usage could stress some power lines and generating facilities, which could leave some customers in the dark temporarily.

That is what happened in the New York City area to Con Edison's 3.2 million customers.
The company had to reduce the voltage, a so-called brownout, for more than 100,000 customers in several neighborhoods in Westchester and Queens overnight.

The Queens brownout ended this morning. Customers do not lose power in a voltage reduction. Con Edison had only 500 customers without power early today.

Many customers do not notice the voltage has been reduced. The reduction primarily affects things like incandescent lights, hot water heaters and some motors.

The US National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning until 10 p.m. Eastern time for the New York City area.

Temperatures in New York will reach 99 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) today with the humidity making it feel more like 112 F, according to weather forecaster

The heatwave will not break until Sunday when the mercury returns to more normal levels in the 80s and low 90s F.

Con Edison said usage peaked at 12,710 megawatts on Thursday. That was shy of the all-time record of 13,141 MW set in August 2006 before the economic recession weakened demand.

The company said demand could top the record today.
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Tags:  new york  heatwave  brownout  energy  

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