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PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Releases ‘Guide for the Climate Action Council’

November 19, 2020

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) today released a new guide developed to inform the Climate Action Council (CAC) of the various planning studies and wholesale electricity market design initiatives underway to prepare for the electric grid envisioned by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

Get the Guide for the Climate Action Council.

“In pursuit of the important mandates set forth in the CLCPA, we must remember the degree to which system reliability, economic efficiency, and environmental efficiency are interlinked. These attributes can and must coexist in support of our power system, economy, and consumer interests,” said Rich Dewey, President & CEO of the NYISO. “We are committed to a strong partnership with the CAC, state and federal policymakers, market participants, and industry stakeholders to address the priorities and goals set forth under the state’s CLCPA.”

“We are committed to offering the tools, skills, independent perspective, and experience necessary to transition to a power system that serves the economic, environmental, and reliability needs of all New Yorkers” said Emilie Nelson, Executive Vice President of the NYISO. “I am honored to sit on the Power Generation Panel which reports directly to the CAC. The members of the CAC, panels, and working groups provide a powerful force for change. Through such collaboration, New York once again leads the way.”

Planning for a Grid in Transition

Grid reliability begins with comprehensive, robust planning to understand how the system is likely to change in the future. In 2019 and 2020, the NYISO engaged in a series of planning studies to assess the likely challenges to state public policy objectives, such as the replacement of peaker units beginning in 2023; the shift towards 70% renewable energy by 2030; and ultimately the shift towards a zero-emissions grid by 2040.

The NYISO’s reliability planning processes enable New York to nimbly address reliability needs that are arising due to a shifting resource mix as older higher-emitting fossil fuel units deactivate and new renewable resources enter service. The NYISO has identified transmission-constrained areas across the state that, if left unaddressed, will limit consumer access to renewable energy. To maximize the benefits from renewable energy resources, the NYISO is revamping its economic planning process to enhance the information provided to investors and policymakers regarding transmission opportunities.

The NYISO has developed a series of studies on the impacts of climate change and the grid of the future. These studies will be instrumental to the work of the CAC and New York’s progress in meeting the mandates of the CLCPA.

70% Renewable Energy by 2030    

  • The NYISO’s long-term planning studies projected 2030 load levels, modeled the NY grid’s ability to deliver 70% renewable energy, and identified multiple areas throughout the state with transmission constraints. These transmission limitations could lead to significant curtailment of renewable resources if not addressed. Absent transmission upgrades in these areas, the state will not be able to take full advantage of the renewable energy buildout.
  • The NYISO’s bi-annual Reliability Needs Assessment results identify numerous reliability needs driven by various system changes in the 10-year study horizon, including the unavailability of single-cycle peaking turbines. The removal of certain peaking generation is due to the DEC Peaker Rule, and is based on the compliance plans provided to the DEC by each generator owner in early March 2020.
  •  Learn more: 2020 Reliability Needs Assessment Report​​​​​​​​​

9,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2035     

  • The NYISO’s transmission expansion process provides avenues for the study and interconnection of new transmission projects proposed to meet offshore wind targets. The same 70x30 scenario also identified pockets of transmission constraints in the areas where offshore wind would interconnect with the grid. The NYISO’s interconnection queue already has at least 30 large-scale offshore wind generation projects. The NYISO’s interconnection and comprehensive system planning processes position the state well to address the need for new transmission system infrastructure to address New York’s clean energy goals.
  • Learn more: 2019 Congestion Assessment and Resource Integration Study 

Aligning NYISO Markets with CLCPA Mandates

Using the study results, the NYISO identified market enhancements that will attract investment in the technologies and capabilities needed to support reliability. These include fast ramping products and increased reserve resources, as well as structural market design changes like carbon pricing.

Competitive wholesale electricity markets provide a powerful platform to attract new technology and achieve change in the power system. The NYISO’s mission is grounded in reliability, planning for the future, providing open access to transparent, competitive markets, and the sharing of data and expertise.

In pursuit of this mission, the NYISO continues to actively engage stakeholders and policymakers to facilitate change on the grid. Energy, ancillary service, and capacity market design changes intended to advance the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) and expand energy storage resources are bringing the grid in transition to reality. As technologies change and the resource mix supplying the grid evolves, ongoing market improvements will continue to occur.

3,000 MW of Energy Storage by 2030

  • Storage technologies will be critical to help grid operators balance the intermittency of renewables with the need to provide reliable power to residents. Storage possesses a unique ability to quickly withdraw and inject energy on the system, which can provide resource flexibility and grid resilience. Storage can also lower energy costs by charging during periods of low demand and lower costs and then providing that energy during periods of higher demand.
  • The NYISO has implemented industry-leading market rules that will ease entry for storage assets, and we are working with stakeholders to develop additional enhancements, such as hybrid resources that combine storage with renewables behind a common interconnection point, and incentivize the innovation necessary to meet the needs of the future grid.
  • Learn more: Climate Change Impact and Resilience Study – Phase II 

6,000 MW of Solar by 2025    

  • Recognizing the challenges and opportunities that come with integrating grid-scale solar, the NYISO has worked with stakeholders to develop market rules that support both large-scale solar integration and aggregations of smaller, behind-the-meter solar resources.
  • The NYISO’s innovative partnership with the New York State Mesonet operated by the University of Albany is a cutting-edge weather forecasting system that gives our operators and forecasters real-time weather data from across the state. This partnership sharpens and enhances our operators’ ability to manage the flow of intermittent solar resources while maximizing their use.
  • Learn more: Clean Energy in New York State: The Role and Economic Impacts of a Carbon Price in NYISO’s Wholesale Electricity Markets

A Call to Action

It is the NYISO’s mission to maintain the reliability of the grid; to oversee open, competitive wholesale electricity markets; to plan for the future grid; and to provide independent and expert information for all stakeholders.

Through collaboration, the NYISO and the CAC can work to achieve the objectives of the CLCPA in a manner that maintains reliability, minimizes costs to consumers, and benefits our environment.

The Case for Approving Carbon Pricing

  • Readying the power sector for a renewable future is essential as we contemplate electrification of whole parts of our economy, like transportation, and move to a zero-emission grid.
  • Provides “ready-now” market solution that works in harmony with state policies and existing state-administered programs.
  • Moves financial risk away from consumers and places it on investors and developers, where it is most appropriate.
  • Accelerates carbon reduction at a lower cost than state administered programs alone.
  • Addresses the disproportionate impact of high-emission power plants on human health, and specifically, disadvantaged environmental justice communities exacerbated by COVID-19 and offers an opportunity to efficiently improve air quality in these communities across the state.

The renewable and clean energy investment requirements in the CLCPA pose a significant challenge, and time is of the essence for the state to be successful.

The NYISO believes that the Climate Action Council’s Scoping Plan should include a call to integrate the social cost of carbon in the New York ISO’s wholesale electricity markets as described in our much-studied and supported carbon pricing proposal.

Get the Guide for the Climate Action Council.

Get the A Call to Action to the Climate Action Council & Advisory Panels datasheet.

We are an independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid, administering New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning for the state’s electric power system, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving the Empire State.