Q&A: Entergy’s Local Presence
Q: How much electricity do Indian Point 2 and 3 produce?
A: According to Entergy’s annual report for calendar year 2009, Indian Point 2 produces 1,028 megawatts of electricity and Indian Point 3 produces 1,041 megawatts.
Q: How much electricity is used in the New York City / Westchester County service area of the NY State power grid?
A: New York City and Westchester County use 9,000 to about 13,000 megawatts of electricity during peak periods daily, according to Consolidated Edison, which transmits all of the electricity. The lowest use is in the winter, the highest in the summer.
Q: What percentage of the area’s electrical needs was met by Indian Point when it sold all of its power to Con Ed and NYPA?
A: The percentage ranged from about 22% in the winter to 15% in the summer.
Q: What percentage of the area’s electrical needs is met by Indian Point now?
A: The 560 megawatts contracted to Con Ed and NYPA amount to 6.2% in the winter and 4.3% in the summer.
Q: Entergy claims Indian Point provides up to 40% of the electricity used in the New York City/ Westchester County grid. How do they arrive at that figure?
A: Energy use is based on the peak, or maximum load of the day when people are actually using electricity. For Entergy’s 40% claim to be accurate,electricity usage in New York City and Westchester would have to fall to only 5,000 megawatts.
Con Ed reports that the energy load drops to that level between 3 AM and 5 AM, Sunday mornings, about three times in the late spring and three times in the early fall when it is too cool for air conditioning, too warm for electric heaters, and the city sleeps. During those isolated periods the 2,000 megawatts from Indian Point – if it were all used in the region – would comprise 40%.
Q: Is it legitimate to use the exception – when everyone sleeps – to calculate Indian Point’s value to the regional power grid?
A: No. The industry’s buyers and providers base their contracts on maximum projected electricity use, not the occasional exceptional circumstance.
If it were legitimate to use the exception, when most electrical systems were turned off, it would also be legitimate to claim that the most consistent power source in the region is the Eveready Bunny, whose batteries powered flashlights throughout the New York City/ Westchester County grid during the 2003 Blackout.
— By Roger Witherspoon