Power Trends: New York ISO Podcast

New York ISO

The Power Trends Podcast produced by the New York Independent System Operator where we discuss energy planning, public policy, and other issues affecting New York’s power grid. read less
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Episodes

Ep. 32: Modeling the Path to Decarbonization with Cornell’s Dr. C. Lindsay Anderson
Apr 10 2024
Ep. 32: Modeling the Path to Decarbonization with Cornell’s Dr. C. Lindsay Anderson
What does the path to a decarbonized grid by 2040 look like? Dr. C. Lindsay Anderson of Cornell University is working to answer the question of where best on the grid to incorporate large amounts of new generation on the future grid to achieve optimal performance. Anderson is chair of Cornell’s Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on creating detailed models of energy systems to see how they’ll perform under different conditions. Her other research interests run the gamut including energy economics; the future of nuclear power including fusion; renewable power systems including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower; energy conservation by users and demand-side management; and global climate change.The research team at the eponymous Anderson Lab is looking for ways to modify the algorithms used to make decisions on operating systems. The lab’s modeling is comprised of numerous independent data sets including those provided by NREL (the National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Anderson notes that NYISO’s publicly available datasets play an essential role in validating historical power flows, peak load patterns, and market behaviors.“The last thing we want to do is keep all the fossil generators online and running just in case we need them,” she said, “because that undermines our ability to decarbonize.”A big part of the research deals with considering the practical implications of the CLCPA. She calls it an exciting opportunity to look at New York’s climate goals and determine how they’ll workTalking to people at the NYISO who know the system well is another important part of the process according to Anderson. She cites our ongoing System Resource and Outlook reporting and analysis of multiple decarbonization scenarios as essential in understanding the numerous variables and impacts.Some of those challenges result from geospatial issues. Renewable energy generated upstate still needs to be transmitted to downstate where the demand is greatest.“The offshore wind off Long Island is key to that because it's located down there and wouldn't have to come through those lines. So those being effectively built up is going to be critically important,” she said.Moving forward, modeling the ideal end state of a decarbonized grid is as important as anticipating the steps along the way in order to understand the iterative impacts of integrating new technology, and how we keep the system reliable throughout the transition.Additional Resources and InformationDr. C. Lindsay Anderson bio | Anderson Lab Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Ep. 31: Columbia Climate School’s Daniel Zarrilli on New York’s Decarbonization Progress
Feb 27 2024
Ep. 31: Columbia Climate School’s Daniel Zarrilli on New York’s Decarbonization Progress
Columbia University’s Daniel Zarrilli knows a thing or two about New York City and the effects of climate change.For almost a decade prior to Hurricane Sandy, he worked on the city’s waterfront, managing maintenance and construction of the city’s piers and bulkheads, overseeing cruise terminals and other maritime assets, and working with coastal communities on a variety of local projects. That experience along the city’s 520-mile shoreline, plus his training as an engineer, put him in view of Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he was standing up his initiative to rebuild New York following Hurricane Sandy and make it more resilient.Bloomberg appointed Zarrilli as the city’s first resilience director. He then became Chief Climate Policy Advisor under Mayor Bill de Blasio, helping usher landmark energy policy through the city council, which mandates emissions reductions produced by the city's largest buildings of 40 percent by 2030.Now Zarrilli serves as Special Advisor for Climate and Sustainability at Columbia University, helping to create a new world-leading climate school and advising on pathways to achieve the university’s deep decarbonization goals. This wealth of deep experience and expertise makes him a valuable addition to the NYISO’s Environmental Advisory Council, a group of outside experts that informs NYISO leadership on evolving state and federal climate policy and environmental justice considerations.Local Law 97, New York City’s building decarbonization law passed in 2019, requires most buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet new energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions limits, with even stricter limits coming into effect in 2030.There are already indications that the policy is working, Zarrilli said.  “New Yorkers have so much to be proud of for the progress that has been made,” Zarrilli said. “There were $20 billion in climate adaptation investments made after Hurricane Sandy, everything from flood protection to grid upgrades to new elevated hospitals in our coastal communities.”  “I think the much more exciting thing about Local Law 97 is how it has catalyzed this marketplace in New York City around clean energy technology, innovation, and investment that is all now centered in New York City,” he said. “So much of our infrastructure was built for a world and a climate that doesn’t exist anymore,” he said.He pointed to concerns about global economic conditions and supply chain challenges that can make electrification projects difficult. In the offshore wind space, he noted that some coastal communities have zoning concerns and questions that must be addressed and answered.Zarrilli credits the NYISO’s forward-thinking approach to the wholesale electric market, which he says will drive incentives to speed up the clean energy transition. “The role that the NYISO plays to help provide that stimulus and incentive is really important, and not a fully appreciated role,” Zarrilli said, “but it's a critical one that I think the state and other ISOs are going to continue to learn from.Additional Resources and InformationThe New York ISO Environmental Advisory CouncilColumbia Climate SchoolLearn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Ep. 30: Nicole Bouchez, PhD, on her unique role as NYISO’s Consumer Interest Liaison
Jan 10 2024
Ep. 30: Nicole Bouchez, PhD, on her unique role as NYISO’s Consumer Interest Liaison
You might say Nicole Bouchez’s role as the NYISO’s Consumer Interest Liaison and Senior Principal Economist combines deep data analytics with good, old-fashioned customer service.  She has an especially important responsibility evaluating the impacts of major market design changes for stakeholders, policymakers, and market participants. That’s where her PhD in International Economics comes in handy.  But a large part of her job also includes working directly with some of the largest energy consumers in the state so they understand those studies and how changes to electric system planning, operations, and decarbonization policies might impact their bottom line.  “Consumers are always concerned about costs,” Bouchez said. “They're also concerned about the technology switch that's happening and how smooth that's going to be. They're concerned about reliability, as we all are.”In addition to performing consumer impact analyses, her office also responds to consumer questions about the markets and provides important training and information sessions. Her knowledge of the New York energy markets and her time as Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London, make her especially suited for that responsibility.Bouchez’s role is unique even among ISOs and other research entities. She says one of the things she likes most about her job is how outward-facing it is – interacting with a diverse cross-section of market participants and stakeholders invested in the future of how the electric system will perform. Her office accesses “real-world” electric systems data in its presentations and materials for stakeholders, providing a deep but comprehensive look into how the energy industry and the grid is changing.  “We’re able to leverage that information in our analyses, which is quite exciting,” she said.Bouchez, who co-chaired a task force in 2017 designing a carbon pricing proposal, is optimistic about the role that markets can play in supporting the grid of the future. “We learned a great deal about how we can incorporate carbon dioxide emissions costs into our markets to support clean energy policy goals without jeopardizing reliability,” Bouchez noted. She explains that if competitive wholesale electric markets can integrate the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, there’s more incentive to efficiently invest in cleaner resources. As New York State studies its options to meet the goals of the CLCPA, Bouchez thinks the task force’s efforts are important and especially timely. “I think that there is a desire to lower our carbon emissions as a country and as a state. It's taking us down a future that I could have never anticipated in 2017 when we started this. This is a really exciting time for [the industry],” she said.Additional Resources and Information:At the NYISO, "Independent" is (Literally) our Middle NameEnergy vs. Capacity: How Teamwork Between Markets Supports a Least-Cost Approach to Grid ReliabilityLearn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Ep. 29: Julie Tighe on Leading the NY League of Conservation Voters and Joining the NYISO’s Environmental Advisory Council
Nov 1 2023
Ep. 29: Julie Tighe on Leading the NY League of Conservation Voters and Joining the NYISO’s Environmental Advisory Council
In this episode of our Power Trends podcast, Julie Tighe discusses her role leading the New York League of Conservation Voters, and her recent addition to the NYISO’s Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). The EAC, which was formed in 2005, provides information and analysis on state and federal environmental policies relative to NYISO’s mission of grid reliability.“No one is going to be happy if the air conditioning goes out in a heat wave. So, we need to be strategic about that,” she said.NYLCV’s efforts range from advocating for clean air and water to working with the real estate industry on constructing greener buildings. “[The League is] the political arm of the environmental movement here in New York, where we really hold elected officials accountable for their actions on environmental policy,” she explained.In the interview, Julie discusses new grid-level technology being developed, including thermal energy networks, that could address growing consumer electric demand. Tighe said it’s crucial to avoid “pie in the sky policy” and work on practical solutions that address decarbonization goals while maintaining system reliability.Julie also speaks to the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, arguably the nation’s most ambitious set of state decarbonization policies.  “On the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act…the state went through a robust planning process with a significant amount of public input, lots of stakeholders who were involved in the conversation, really setting out the roadmap for how we are going to achieve these big, bold, ambitious goals of getting to an economy that is 85% emissions reduction by 2050,” she said.“We need to have big stretch goals…but I also think we need to make sure that they are, in fact, technically achievable in a manner that's affordable,” she said. Read the announcement of Julie Tighe’s addition to the New York ISO’s Environmental Advisory CouncilAdditional Resources and InformationEnvironmental Advisory CouncilNew York League of Conservation Voters  Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Ep.28: How NY's Grid Stayed Reliable Through This Summer's Late Heatwave with VP of Operations, Aaron Markham
Oct 2 2023
Ep.28: How NY's Grid Stayed Reliable Through This Summer's Late Heatwave with VP of Operations, Aaron Markham
New York’s recent peak day for electricity consumption came during a heatwave, as millions of people relied on their air conditioners to keep cool. That’s not unusual. However, some of the circumstances leading up to that day still provided a challenge.On our latest Power Trends podcast, NYISO’s Vice President of Operations Aaron Markham discusses what goes into maintaining a reliable grid during a late-season heatwave. The peak load on Sept. 6 was just over 30,200 megawatts. New York’s historic peak demand is 33,956 megawatts, recorded in July 2013.Markham pointed out that there have been several system changes since then, like generator retirements.  It’s unusual to see a peak day in September. The high-demand days usually come in July or August when hot, humid conditions drive up the desire for air conditioning. Besides the peak coming later in the season than expected, there were other unusual factors that came up.“We had some generation that became forced out of service,” Markham said.When something like that happens, the operators in the control room activate contingency plans.“That resulted in us committing some additional generation to make sure we had sufficient supply,” he explained.On a peak day like this, very close coordination with utility companies is also essential.“The expectation is that we've talked through all the potential contingencies that could occur,” Markham said. “What is a system going to look like? What is the set of resources that we're going to use to resolve that and make sure that everybody is on board, from the neighbors to the utilities in the state, to the NYISO operators in the room.”Challenging situations aren’t limited to warmer months. Markham’s team of operators had to deal with a different set of conditions brought on by sudden extreme cold in December 2022.  With high demand for natural gas to heat people’s homes, meant less gas available for generating electricity.“We have a survey process where we actually reach out to the generators to look at…what is their fuel supply situation? Do they have alternate oil backup in the tanks? Are they expecting deliveries of that?” Markham explained. “So that's another aspect that comes into winter operations, all of which we did leading up to this event.”Events like this demonstrate New York’s system is reliable, Markham said.“We were able to maintain flows within limits, all the various parameters on the power system within limits. And we still did have, through the event, some surplus capability,” he said.To learn more about our Operations Team and how they manage the grid, listen to the podcast.Additional Resources and InformationReal-Time DashboardShaving Peaks with the SunStaying Cool in the Deep Freeze: How NYISO’s Forecasters Performed During Winter Storm ElliottLearn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Ep.27: Master Class in Electricity Markets with Rana Mukerji
Aug 1 2023
Ep.27: Master Class in Electricity Markets with Rana Mukerji
In our latest podcast, we sat down with Rana Mukerji, NYISO’s SVP of Market Structures, to learn about his journey from growing up in Calcutta, India to becoming widely regarded as one of the ­­industry's leading designers of electricity markets. We ask Rana about his past career experience working for General Electric and ABB, and how the markets must evolve to accommodate a new set of renewable resources while keeping the grid reliable.Wholesale competitive electricity markets are an essential component of grid reliability in New York. Markets play a critical role in reconciling supply with demand which must be in perfect balance at all times. As decarbonization policies drive an increase in intermittent, weather-dependent energy such as wind and solar, it has never been more important to understand markets’ contribution to reliability. There are few people more qualified to explain this evolution than NYISO Senior Vice President of Market Structures Rana Mukerji. Rana was instrumental in the early research and data simulation that informed the structure of markets in New York. This edition of our Power Trends podcast is a master class on the wholesale electricity markets that the New York ISO administers and how the energy, capacity, and ancillary markets work together.Mukerji identifies two primary shifts affecting the market. First, new renewable resources coming onto the grid are driving down energy prices because of their low variable costs – particularly because they have essentially no fuel costs. At the same time, the system is becoming more volatile because that supply is weather dependent. To maintain reliability, the market assigns a premium to ancillary services that can balance: “The premium value of the future energy supply is flexibility,” he explains. “We are repricing reserves to make it more attractive to perform when needed and rewarding that flexibility.” “It’s going to be a vastly more complex grid, but it is going to really drive our transition to a decarbonized and sustainable future,” he adds. Rana’s path to the NYISO began decades ago with his first plane ride from Calcutta, India to New York City. From there he boarded a bus to Troy, New York where he began his graduate studies in electrical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on a full scholarship and later worked as an energy consultant with GE. Today, he uses his deep knowledge and experience in economics and engineering to prepare markets for the grid of the future. In this podcast, Rana explains how the markets are changing, and how to make sure the grid stays reliable as we get closer to a 2040 goal of a zero-emissions grid.Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Ep. 25: VP Zach Smith on the Interconnection Process & Growth of Clean Energy on the Grid
Feb 23 2023
Ep. 25: VP Zach Smith on the Interconnection Process & Growth of Clean Energy on the Grid
“The objective is the reliability of the grid,” VP of System & Resource Planning Zach Smith says about the process his group oversees studying the impacts of connecting new electric resources to the grid. Because of state policies and technological advancements, more developers are seeking to connect to the grid, creating more demands on the New York ISO in overseeing the study process.Smith is a frequent guest of the Power Trends podcast. His conversations on grid planning, reliability, and resource interconnection are routinely among the most popular of our series. In this episode, he discusses how the NYISO is required to study the impacts of new resources like large wind, solar and battery storage facilities seeking to connect to the electric system.“It’s being able to integrate new resources onto the grid as we transition to a renewable future,” he says. “That means that as we connect these new resources, we analyze their impact, and identify upgrades to maintain the performance of the system.”State and federal clean energy policies are driving a dramatic increase in clean energy projects entering the Interconnection Queue, where they will be studied for feasibility and grid reliability impacts. The process requires the expertise of many of the NYISO’s most skilled engineers and analysts. “It’s something I take great pride in: the talent in the team and experts we have,” says Smith. “But we also have a lot of challenges ahead of us.”The Interconnection Queue has experienced change. A few years ago, it was typical to see between one and two hundred resources applying. Today, the Interconnection Queue contains nearly 500 proposals. Factors driving this historic growth include New York’s requirement of a zero-emissions grid by 2040, new incentives to build new solar, wind, and storage resources, and public policy needs that incentivize new transmission investment. In this podcast, Smith discusses the three successive studies that examine the impact of each new resource, as well as their collective impact and the potential need for system upgrades. The process involves continuous collaboration between the developers, local utilities, and the NYISO. Some project proposals are more fully realized than others. Sometimes a resource will elect to drop out of the process, requiring a new round of studies, adding to the time it takes for all remaining resources to get to the end. The NYISO has several initiatives underway to make the process more efficient and user-friendly for applicants. “The technology continues to change,” Smith said. “We’re working hard here in New York to keep things moving along.” Additional Resources & InformationWhitepaper: The NYISO Interconnection ProcessPress Release:  NYISO Completes Interconnection Study Process to Connect New Resources to the Electric GridExplainer:  How New Electric Resources Connect to the GridLearn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Podcast Ep. 24: U.S. Energy Information Administration Experts Discuss the Causes of Rising Winter Electricity Prices
Jan 5 2023
Podcast Ep. 24: U.S. Energy Information Administration Experts Discuss the Causes of Rising Winter Electricity Prices
In our latest Power Trends Podcast, we interview two leading Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysts about the impact of wholesale natural gas prices on winter electricity costs in New York.We spoke to Dr. Tyler Hodge, Senior Economist in the Office of Energy Analysis, and Corrina Ricker, a Certified Data Scientist on the Natural Gas Markets team, to dive into the findings of EIA’s latest Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO). Hodge said that he expects electricity prices in New York in 2023 to be about 10% higher than in 2022, which is in line with the U.S. overall. “The fuel cost is the biggest driver to wholesale prices,” he said.In a conversation with the NYISO published earlier this year, Hodge and Ricker explained the relationship between fuel costs and energy prices, and how recent geopolitical factors, like the war in Ukraine, and pandemic-related slowdowns, helped to create low energy supplies. Supplies are rebounding, they said, but demand is also up nationally.In this recent interview, Ricker also said that increased global demand for natural gas, followed by U.S. exports of liquid natural gas to Europe are driving electric prices higher. Colder-than-average temperatures predicted for the next few months could also have an upward impact on prices through the heating season, she said. While the amount of electricity coming from renewables continues to rise nationally and in New York, natural gas remains the largest source of generation, they added. About the U.S. Energy Information AdministrationThe EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. Read their Short-Term Energy Outlook.Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 23: NYISO’s Market Monitor – Guarding Competition for the Benefit of Consumers
Nov 21 2022
Episode 23: NYISO’s Market Monitor – Guarding Competition for the Benefit of Consumers
Every five minutes, 24 hours a day, electricity in New York State is bought and sold through competitive wholesale electric markets administered by the NYISO. And while we may not think about electricity the same way we do about other products and services, competitive wholesale electric markets are truly dynamic, with hundreds of buyers and sellers, or “market participants,” involved in the process of meeting consumer demand for power at the least cost available. But how do we make sure that prices in these electric markets are fair and that all market participants act according to the rules and requirements?That’s where Shaun Johnson and his team come in.As the NYISO’s Director of Market Mitigation and Analysis, Shaun Johnson leads a group of 25 electricity markets experts who “police” the system, protecting consumers by making sure prices accurately reflect operating conditions and generator costs.To meet its goal, the Market Mitigation and Analysis (MMA) team examines data detailing market transactions and operating behaviors of generating assets to verify that consumer prices reflect competitive market circumstances. If they detect anomalies or a trend that raises questions, they possess the ability to investigate and request additional information from market participants.Johnson, the subject of our latest Power Trends podcast, is an economist who oversees a team of mathematicians, computer scientists, former energy traders, and technicians with years of experience in power plant and energy industry operations. In short, the team is responsible for evaluating the performance of the markets and identifying attempts to exercise market power.Team members even crisscross the state regularly to visit generators and observe their operations first-hand. This helps team members understand and verify trading or bidding behavior in the markets later on. “Less than one-half of one percent of our market outcomes end up requiring action,” Johnson is quick to point out. “But those sanctions, or penalties, have resulted in just over $13 million dollars being refunded back to New York consumers in the last three years.” In keeping with the important independence, the NYISO MMA group and an external Market Monitoring Unit (MMU) work independently and collaboratively to protect consumers and participants in the ISO-administered markets. Together, these guardians of the grid report not only to the NYISO’s Board of Directors, but also to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the industry. Johnson noted that electric prices are expected to continue to rise this winter due to spikes in global demand for fossil fuels that are lagging supply, as well as global instability caused by the war in Ukraine and economic instability across Europe.Wholesale, competitive markets remain the best way to make sure consumers receive the least possible price for their electricity, even in the face of rising fossil fuel costs, Johnson notes. And the MMA team, acting as sheriff of these markets, makes sure these prices are achieved fairly; especially when prices rise.Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 22: NYISO VP Zach Smith on Unprecedented Investment Needed to Meet Energy Goals
Sep 30 2022
Episode 22: NYISO VP Zach Smith on Unprecedented Investment Needed to Meet Energy Goals
The NYISO recently released a new report that identifies the unprecedented level of electrical system investment necessary to achieve New York State’s climate policy requirements. Developed in collaboration with stakeholders and state agencies, the 2021-2040 System and Resource Outlook (the Outlook) uses various scenarios to identify potential pathways for transmission and supply investments that will support a reliable transition of the electric grid. In our latest Power Trends podcast, NYISO Vice President for System and Resource Planning Zach Smith explains the potential impacts of the changing resource mix on the needs of the electric grid to maintain reliability. State policies, like the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, are having profound impacts on the electric system and decisions for system investments to keep the lights on.System planning has always been a vital part of what we do, along with managing New York’s electric grid reliability and wholesale competitive markets. The NYISO is required to study the electric system for potential risks to meeting stringent reliability rules and make recommendations on how to maintain grid reliability into the future.   “I’m really proud of the work our team has done to consider different scenarios and identify the actions we all need to be taking now,” Smith said. “The intent is to give policymakers and stakeholders a view of the future that considers the physical constraints of the system so we can make informed investment decisions that preserve grid reliability.”By simulating different future system configurations and forecasting the transmission constraints for each, we were able to identify the following key findings:State climate mandates are driving the need for unprecedented levels of new generation capacity to achieve decarbonization and maintain system reliability.Electrification of buildings and transportation driven by state policies is one of the largest factors driving rapid increases in peak and annual energy demand. Significant increases in new resource and transmission development will be required to achieve CLCPA targets. Dispatchable Emission-Free Resources (DEFRs) must be developed and deployed at scale well before 2040 to achieve an emission-free grid.Ultimately, preparing for a zero-emissions electric grid by 2040, as directed by state policy, will require a variety of solutions. Examples include new transmission, significant build-out of renewable and storage resources, and the use of Dispatchable Emissions-Free Resources (DEFRs). DEFRs will be needed to replace current fossil-fueled generators to respond quickly to changing system conditions and be able to supply the grid for extended periods. DEFR technologies are not yet commercially viable but must be developed and added to the system at scale to reliably serve demand when intermittent generation from wind and solar is unavailable and supply from storage resources is depleted. The lead time necessary for research, development, permitting, and construction of DEFR supply will require action well in advance of 2040 if state policy mandates under the CLCPA are to be achieved.“We’re talking about policies and goals that are in 2040, and may feel like a long way off,” Smith said. “But we need to think about all of these factors today.”For more, download Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 21: U.S. Energy Information Administration Experts Discuss Recent Energy Price Impacts
Aug 8 2022
Episode 21: U.S. Energy Information Administration Experts Discuss Recent Energy Price Impacts
In our latest Power Trends Podcast, we interviewed two leading U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysts about domestic and international price trends and how world energy supply and demand are impacting wholesale electricity prices in New York.  We spoke to Dr. Tyler Hodge, Senior Economist in the Office of Energy Analysis, and Corrina Ricker, a Certified Data Scientist on the Natural Gas Markets team, to dive into the findings of EIA’s latest Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO).Hodge explained the relationship between fuel costs and energy prices, and how recent geopolitical factors are creating uncertainty about energy supply. Ricker also explained the relationship between the economic slowdown resulting from the pandemic and how the demand for natural gas has more recently outpaced the growth in supply, leading to higher prices. Both analysts also shared price forecasts in the STEO based on various economic data for the next several months and discussed the expected growth of clean energy resources on a national basis.About the U.S. Energy Information Administration The EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. Read their Short-Term Energy Outlook.Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 20: The ROI of Energy Security Investment with Karen Wayland
Jun 15 2022
Episode 20: The ROI of Energy Security Investment with Karen Wayland
It’s going to take time and precision to build the grid of the future. Managing reliability carefully and investing in the right technologies as we transition to a grid increasingly based on clean energy will be key to success. These are the messages of Dr. Karen Wayland, a noted policy expert who focuses on the path to grid modernization and infrastructure improvements aimed at a cleaner, more efficient, more secure #gridofthefuture. Wayland is CEO of GridWise Alliance , an organization made up of energy utilities and technology leaders. She was recently interviewed by Kevin Lanahan, NYISO Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, for our latest Power Trends podcast. In the wide-ranging conversation, Wayland explores the diverse technology portfolio necessary to deliver a modernized grid, including new transmission, distributed resources, and smart energy communication systems. Specifically, Wayland sees “autonomous healing” grid technology as a way to address outages caused by extreme weather.  In the future she sees tools on the electric system that can automatically reroute power when a line is down to reduce the impact away from concentrated populations, for example.  “Reliability can't be compromised,” she said. “And we also can't compromise that affordability part of grid modernization… If we are going to get to a decarbonized, flexible grid, we have to be smart about understanding what the best return on that investment's going to be.”For more on the market changes that will help bring New York to a clean-energy future, listen now.For more about how we are addressing a zero-emissions grid with market-based solutions, visit the 2040 Power Grid webpage.  Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 19: How We Removed Barriers to Clean-Energy Resources Coming Onto the Grid
Feb 28 2022
Episode 19: How We Removed Barriers to Clean-Energy Resources Coming Onto the Grid
Our stakeholders recently approved changes to market rules which, if accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will help us meet New York’s zero-emissions mandates by supporting new investments in energy resources.The proposal was created to make it easier for clean-energy resources such as solar or wind to take part in the competitive, wholesale markets that serve the New York grid. The project was overwhelmingly supported by stakeholders, following months of discussion on how to reconcile capacity market rules with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.Why is this change important, how did it come about, and how will it help bring us to a zero-emissions grid by 2040? Vice President for External Affairs and Corporate Communications Kevin Lanahan recently interviewed two of the primary authors of the proposal, also known as Comprehensive Mitigation Reform, for our latest Power Trends podcast. He spoke to Director of Market Design Mike DeSocio, and Manager of Capacity Market Design Zach T. Smith.“What we’re really focused on is making sure resources that are participating in the wholesale, competitive markets are treated fairly and can compete on a level playing field,” said DeSocio. DeSocio explained further: buyer-side mitigation (BSM) rules were created to make sure that no single resource could have an unfair competitive advantage over another, including out-of-market payments. But many new wind and solar resources entering the market receive government subsidies because of their clean-energy attributes. Without reform, current BSM rules could limit how these clean energy resources could compete in the wholesale markets. The concern was that existing rules could make electricity more expensive and limit new investment in clean energy.  Our new reforms, if approved by federal regulators, will make sure this doesn’t happen. “It took a lot of work to get there,” DeSocio noted. “But we ended up with a proposal that balances all the various needs.” Another important component of these reforms is what is known as resource capacity accreditation, explained Smith. Accreditation values the contribution each resource has toward reliability. Battery storage, for instance, will be more important in the future because it can provide the flexible power, we’ll need to offset clean energy when the wind stops blowing or the sun doesn’t shine.  “Our proposal,” Smith says, “will reflect that increase in value of these resources as the system changes.”By adding this value, capacity accreditation will help maintain the right investment signals for new resource developers, he said. For more on the market changes that will help bring New York to a clean-energy future, listen now.For more about how we are addressing a zero-emissions grid with market-based solutions, visit the 2040 Power Grid webpage.  Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 18: NYISO VP Zach Smith on Reliability Risks from Extreme Weather, Transmission Constraints, & Electricity Economics
Dec 27 2021
Episode 18: NYISO VP Zach Smith on Reliability Risks from Extreme Weather, Transmission Constraints, & Electricity Economics
We’ve just released a new report, the Comprehensive Reliability Plan (CRP), which looks at the New York energy grid over the next 10 years and determines if there are any factors that could impact our ability to keep the lights on for all. While the report declared there are no immediate risks, Vice President of System & Resource Planning Zach Smith says the future of the grid is not so simple. To safely and responsibly tackle climate change impacts to the power grid, one must consider multiple factors together in thinking about decarbonization and planning. “We have a shifting resource mix of generation. We need to be mindful of how this big machine called the electric grid continues to operate,” Smith told Kevin Lanahan, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, during an interview for our Power Trends Podcast. One issue, Smith said, is that as new resources come onto the grid, such as wind or solar power, older, less efficient power plants will retire. The “spinning mass” of fossil fuel-fired plants provides a reliable source of electricity that can offset the intermittent nature of solar and wind resources, which are limited due to weather and time of day. Losing oil and gas plants will require replacement by other energy resources that can offset these intermittent resources. “We’re already seeing changes on the grid. That’s going to have a real impact: some of them positive, some of them negative,” Smith said. “We’re very concerned that if we experience a heat wave, a polar vortex, our projections show we could come up short.”For more about how we are addressing a zero-emissions grid with market-based solutions, visit the 2040 Power Grid webpage.  Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 17: Wes Yeomans on Summer Reliability Retrospective & Modeling for Climate Change
Oct 25 2021
Episode 17: Wes Yeomans on Summer Reliability Retrospective & Modeling for Climate Change
When Wes Yeomans speaks, people in the energy industry listen. The Vice President of Operations, Wes has three decades of energy industry experience, including more than 10 years at the NYISO. In this podcast, he tells Kevin Lanahan, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, about how we performed in managing the electric grid last summer, our preparations for the winter ahead, and how we’re planning for a zero-emissions grid of the future.This summer saw extreme weather around the nation, with monster fires on the West Coast and unprecedented heat in the Pacific Northwest. Here in New York, tropical storms included one that brought tragic flooding to New York City; but thankfully did not involve significant difficulties in grid operations.Extreme weather from climate change is an increasing factor in grid operations, combined with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which calls for significant growth of solar and wind. This includes significant offshore wind development taking shape, and the recent announcement by Governor Hochul to expand the NY Sun program to 10 gigawatts of distributed solar resources by 2030. These distributed resources displace the amount of energy that must be supplied by the transmission system that the NYISO operates. As energy production from renewable resources is dependent on weather, our grid operators must be able to predict the output of these resources in order to maintain reliability on the transmission system, he said. “We can be off 10% today,” he said, noting that solar and wind still make up a relatively small amount of grid supply. “If we’re off 10% three years from now, that could be a couple of thousands of megawatts. So we have to be very good, and be prepared.”Another significant change Wes discusses is the rise in electric vehicles, and trends to move from oil and natural gas to electric heat in buildings, especially downstate. The combined effects of these change, Wes said, is the likelihood that New York will change from a state that experiences its peak power demand in the summer (primarily a result of air conditioning use) to one which sees peak demand occurring in the winter.For more about how we are addressing a zero-emissions grid with market-based solutions, visit the 2040 Power Grid webpage.   Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 16: Gil C. Quiniones, President & CEO of NYPA, on Decarbonization, Building a Better Grid & Disaster Recovery
Aug 3 2021
Episode 16: Gil C. Quiniones, President & CEO of NYPA, on Decarbonization, Building a Better Grid & Disaster Recovery
Gil C. Quiniones, President & CEO of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), has transformed the organization and he has a lot to say about the grid of the future. The internationally-recognized leader in the power industry oversees a quarter of New York’s energy generation and a third of its transmission. The organization recently launched its 10-year, Vision2030 strategic plan, and is pushing with numerous other efforts to upgrade its facilities with the most cutting-edge technology to help meet New York’s CLCPA clean energy targets.“It's really a moment in time of growth and investment in our state,” he told Kevin Lanahan, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, during a conversation for our Power Trends Podcast. Vision2030 calls for aggressively building out NYPA’s transmission system, preserving the value of its hydroelectric resources, transitioning its downstate gas generation to low to zero carbon emission resources, and helping customers reduce fossil fuel use in their own operations. NYPA is working with the PEAK Coalition (a collection of environmental advocacy groups in New York City) to help retire or upgrade its gas-powered peaker plants in order to improve air quality in environmental justice neighborhoods. Potential options for replacement may include short- or long-term energy storage or the use of “green” hydrogen.Quiniones also said NYPA has several business ventures in place to invest in offshore wind. The CLCPA calls for installing nine gigawatts of power off the coast of Long Island and New York City. NYPA is moving forward with other grid transmission improvement projects around the state to help move clean energy, he said.“It's just amazing that everything is happening and the stars are aligned for more transmission build-out in our state,” he said. Other topics that Quiniones touched upon included:·    Efforts to improve cybersecurity·    The company’s COVID response·    NYPA’s eight-month effort to help restore power in       Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria For more about how we are addressing a zero-emissions grid with market-based solutions, visit the 2040 Power Grid webpage.  Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 15: ACE NY’s Anne Reynolds Advises CAC  on Fast-Tracking Clean Energy Targets
Jun 29 2021
Episode 15: ACE NY’s Anne Reynolds Advises CAC on Fast-Tracking Clean Energy Targets
Anne Reynolds joined the Alliance for Clean Energy (ACE NY) as executive director in 2014. But she has spent her career working on clean energy and environmental issues, including on numerous state programs to help ease the transition to emission-free resources in New York.She recently spoke with Kevin Lanahan, our vice president for external affairs and corporate communications, on our latest Power Trends Podcast. They discussed her role as a member of the state Climate Action Council (CAC) and her thoughts on what it will take to meet the aggressive clean energy targets of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).“I’ve been impressed with how much they’ve accomplished,” said Reynolds of the CAC’s work. “It’s illustrated how many moving parts there are to get New York to achieve the really ambitious climate goals that are in the CLCPA. It’s daunting when you understand how much New York is going to have to do.” Reynolds still sees many challenges ahead to achieving the renewable solar and wind energy goals called for in the CLCPA, including getting these technologies built, sited, permitted, and interconnected onto the grid. “We have to tackle all of those nuts-and-bolts issues,” she said.One of the biggest hurdles to meeting all of the CLCPA’s goals is the enormous task of electrifying New York’s buildings, which today make up about a third of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. She noted that all tools should be considered in order to ensure reliability while moving to a clean energy economy. There will be roles for carbon pricing, new dispatchable emission-free generation, green hydrogen, as well as a need to invest in storage, transmission improvements, demand response, and efficiency improvements, she says.“A lot will need to happen over the next 25 years to put us on that right path.”For more about how we are addressing a zero-emissions grid with market-based solutions, visit the 2040 Power Grid webpage.  Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 14: NYISO VP Zach Smith on Emission-Free Grid Planning, Climate Change & the Interconnection Queue
Apr 19 2021
Episode 14: NYISO VP Zach Smith on Emission-Free Grid Planning, Climate Change & the Interconnection Queue
It’s Zach Smith’s job to prepare the New York energy grid for the future. Our Vice President of System and Resource Planning manages the team that looks at all potential reliability issues the grid could face, from a week to 10 years in the future. The team also looks at all proposed energy resources that seek to enter the grid via our Interconnection Queue process, and the impact these resources could have on reliability. In the past several years, we’ve made changes to the process of approving new resources, speeding up the approval process to reduce the cost to developers.  “We’ve had this comprehensive planning process for many years now,” he said, in an interview with Kevin Lanahan, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications. “Now, with the changes to the grid, it’s so much more vitally important. We’re encountering all kinds of new challenges.”New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) sets the nation’s most ambitious clean energy targets. Under the CLCPA, the grid must get 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, as well as be emission-free by 2040. “Some of the challenges are based around what happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate,” Smith said.“What if the wind ceases to blow, what if clouds come in and you get less sunshine?” Smith asked. “You are still going to have significant electric demand. You need resources standing, willing and ready to produce, sometimes at a moment’s notice.”In addition, the changing climate presents its own grid concerns. We recently published our Climate Change and Impact Study, which offers suggestions on where to strengthen the grid in order to keep it resilient in the face of risks to reliability like cold snaps, heat waves and ice storms. We’re evaluating all of the potential conditions and the corresponding economics . The way that we do that is through the interconnection process. Meanwhile, we continue to see a tremendous number of new clean energy resources that developers are seeking to install in the coming years. Planning for these new resources, a process called the Interconnection Queue, is also a vital part of Smith’s duties.   “We’re evaluating all of that to make sure that the reliability and resiliency of the grid is maintained,” he said. “The New York ISO plays an important role in enabling these new resources and making sure they can interconnect reliably.”Learn more, read our blog: The Road to 2040: Our Interconnection Queue Shows Unprecedented Growth of Clean Energy Investment in NYLearn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page
Episode 13: Key Capture Energy’s Jeff Bishop on the Critical Role of Storage in Greening the Grid
Mar 1 2021
Episode 13: Key Capture Energy’s Jeff Bishop on the Critical Role of Storage in Greening the Grid
Jeff Bishop, CEO and co-founder of Key Capture Energy, got his start in the energy business 20 years ago developing wind farms in New York and around the world. In 2016, he and New York native Dan Fitzgerald crunched the numbers and saw the future in battery storage. Together, they formed Key Capture Energy. The Albany-based company has 54 megawatts of storage in operation  in New York and Texas, with an additional 200 MW under construction and a whopping 2.5 gigawatts in development in the Northeast and in Texas. As New York moves to a zero-emission grid, mandated by the CLCPA to be in place by 2040, energy storage plays a critical role. The state has called for 3,000 MW of storage by then. But Bishop said those numbers are just part of why Key Capture Energy is investing in New York.“New York is doing everything all at once,” he says. “A bunch of offshore wind, retirement downstate of dual-fuel peakers, all of this just leads to a grid that needs battery storage.”“Markets have traditionally rewarded what is economical but they need to reward what the grid needs five years from now,” Bishop explains. At the NYISO, our work preparing markets for energy storage led the nation with new rules already in place to broaden the ability of storage to bolster the reliable use of renewable resources.“We need it all,” says Bishop, referring to the many technologies expected to be serving the grid by 2040. “We need those 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind to come into Long Island and New York City. We need the rooftop solar. We need all sorts of distributed solar. We need transmission upgrades. And we need energy storage.”Learn More Follow us on Twitter @NewYorkISO and LinkedIn @NYISO Read our blogs and watch our videos Check out our 2040 grid page