Heat waves and the resultant spikes in electricity usage as air conditioner use increases have highlighted the need for more power plants in New York, according to the Business Council of New York. In a statement issued recently, the council referred to a day in late July when the New York power grid operator, fearing the system would be overwhelmed, pled with the public to conserve energy.

“Conservation efforts cannot take the place of increased generating capacity,” the council noted in its statement. “New York State risks serious economic damage unless it moves urgently to add generating capacity.”

The Public Policy Institute issued a report in February that claims New York needs at least a dozen new power plants capable of generating at least 9,200 MW within the next five years. Power supplies in New York City and its suburbs are stretched so thin because the construction of new plants and transmission lines has not kept pace with the region’s economic and population growth.

The Business Council has been joined by other organizations like the New York Independent System Operator, the state Public Service Commission, and the Independent Power Producers of New York State in lobbying for more power capacity.