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(Reuters) - The state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Monday activated its program to reduce electricity use in New York City for the first time this summer as consumers crank up their air conditioners to escape the hot, humid weather.
NYPA said it may also activate the so-called peak reduction program on Tuesday. The power company said it can activate the program for up to 15 days between June 1 and September 1.
"The electric system experiences its greatest challenges during the hottest summer days when demand for air-conditioning skyrockets and the margins between available generating capacity and electricity use narrow the most," Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said in a release.
Program participants agreed to reduce power usage by almost 14 megawatts (MW). One megawatt can power about 800 to 1,000 homes.
Participants include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city's commuter trains and subways, and the City University of New York.
In return for the power curtailment, NYPA pays participants $25 per kilowatt reduced, for an expected outlay that could total hundreds of thousands of dollars by summer's end.
"NYPA's program helps stabilize the power grid by encouraging our customers to cut back on nonessential energy use during brief periods," Quiniones said.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)