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N.Y. Power Supply Said Adequate

May 9, 2001

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York state’s supply of electricity will be adequate to meet peak demand this summer, but price spikes are almost certain to recur and more power plants need to be built, the state’s Independent Power Producers said Wednesday.

The group, whose members produce about 70 percent of the power consumed in New York, said upstate’s supply of electricity should be fine. If problems occur, they will be in New York City and its suburbs, especially during a protracted heat wave, according to Independent Power Producers executive director Gavin Donohue.

With the addition of 10 small natural-gas fired turbines the New York Power Authority is trying to bring on line in New York City, there should be enough electricity to meet downstate demand, the group said.

``We have adequate supplies, we think, to meet demand in New York,″ said IPP President Roger Kelley.

But Kelley said the price spikes that were so pronounced for some downstate electricity ratepayers in 2000 are almost certain to return in 2001. He called them an unavoidable aspect of the sale of power or any other commodity.

Electricity costs more when demand is at its highest and generators can sell to the highest bidder on today’s deregulated wholesale power market, Kelley said.

Kelley and Donohue called for the state to expedite the process of reviewing and approving applications for new power plants. They said new power generation is needed in New York or the state is likely to find itself in the throes of shortages like California has endured since 2000.

``We’re not California today,″ said Donohue. ``We’re not in a crisis mode.″

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