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NY has enough power for summer: PSC

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York should have enough power to meet demand this summer when consumers crank up their air conditioners to escape the heat, state utility regulators said Thursday.

In a release, the Public Service Commission also said prices this summer would likely remain stable based on NYMEX futures.

Power prices for July and August on the NYMEX were in the $40s per megawatt hour in western New York, the $60s in the Hudson Valley, and the $70s in New York City, all of which are about the same as this time last year.

The PSC did not provide an actual demand forecast but did note it approved of a couple of enhancements to Consolidated Edison Inc's demand response programs that pay consumers to reduce usage during times of high demand.

In April, the New York ISO, the state power grid operator, issued a Power Trends report that said the state would have about 43,000 megawatts of supply available in 2010, including imports, to meet a forecast peak demand of about 33,000 MW.

That forecast peak was below the grid's all time record peak of 33,939 MW set during the summer of 2006, and also below last year's peak of 30,844 MW.

A spokesman for the ISO said the numbers in the Power Trends report have been out for a while and the grid operator planned to issue its actual summer forecast during the week after the Memorial Day holiday.

He explained demand for power over the past few years has not reached the 2006 peak primarily due to more mild summer temperatures and to a lesser degree weaker industrial demand during the recession and increased consumer participation in energy efficiency and conservation programs.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich)