New York power grid looks at impact of possible natgas plant retirements

(Reuters) - New York’s power grid operator said on Thursday it was evaluating reliability impacts of a draft rule that could result in the retirement of several small, natural gas-fired plants in the New York City area.

In February 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposed requirements to reduce emissions from the so-called peaking power plants, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) said in its Power Trends report.

The DEC’s proposed new rule to be phased in between 2023 and 2025 could impact about 3,300 megawatts (MW) of simple-cycle turbines in New York City and Long Island, the NYISO said.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 U.S. homes.

The NYISO said it is actively engaged in the rule-development process and will work to inform interested parties of the implications of the proposed DEC rule to the reliability of the power grid.

In addition, the NYISO said proposals to add more renewables in the Upstate region without adding more transmission to move that power out of the Upstate region “runs the risk of bringing diminishing returns in terms of progress toward both renewable energy production and carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals.”

That is because nearly 90 percent of the energy produced Upstate already is derived from carbon-free resources, the NYISO said.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy