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One megawatt (MW) can power between 600 and 1,000 homes. On a daily basis, the state of New York needs between 20,000 and 40,000 MW, which is generated both within the state and elsewhere. Power typically flows from northern and western New York, where it is generated, to the population centers in the southeastern part of the state. However, sufficient transmission capacity is not always available to move power where it is needed, creating congestion on the system.

Because wholesale power purchasers typically seek to buy the least expensive electricity available, if transmission constraints frequently limit the amount of electricity that can be delivered into an area where demand for it is high, the power purchasers must buy more often from higher-cost suppliers, and the result is higher electricity costs for consumers.In more severe congestion conditions, transmission constraints can impair grid reliability by reducing the diversity of available electricity supplies and rendering the area more vulnerable to unanticipated outages of major generators or transmission lines.

The NYES will modernize the current transmission system by: a) adding transmission lines of greater capacity and b) simultaneously enhancing substations with better technologies. If NYES is implemented, the amount of energy available to the transmission system will increase by more than 1,000 megawatts.

Sources: New York State Independent System Operator and the US Department of Energy