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PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Report Examines Pathways to Reach State Policy Objectives

September 22, 2022

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) today released its 2021-2040 System & Resource Outlook (the Outlook), 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 Outlook uses several scenarios to identify potential pathways for transmission and supply investments that will support a reliable transition of the electric grid. The Outlook will be updated every two years.

“The New York ISO remains committed to maintaining reliability as our grid transitions to a clean energy future,” said Rich Dewey, President and CEO of the New York ISO. “The scale of new resource development needed to satisfy system reliability and policy requirements within the next 20 years is unprecedented.”

“This new report was necessary to rethink how and where electric supply resources must evolve, and how to efficiently enable their integration to achieve energy policy targets,” said Zach G. Smith, Vice President of System and Resource Planning. “The opportunities and challenges before us demand new approaches to grid planning. The Outlook will be critical to assessing needs and opportunities of the system going forward.”

Key Findings

  • State climate mandates are driving the need for unprecedented levels of investment in new generation to achieve decarbonization and maintain system reliability. By 2030 an estimated 20 gigawatts (GW) of additional renewable generation must be in-service to support the energy policy target of 70 percent renewable generation. By 2040, between 111-124 GW of total generating capacity will be needed to support the CLCPA mandate of an emissions-free grid. For reference, New York currently has approximately 37 GW of generating capacity. 12.9 GW of new generation has been developed since wholesale electricity markets began more than 20 years ago in 1999. 
  • Extensive transmission investment will be necessary to deliver renewable energy and address new constraints that appear across the electric system.
  • Electrification of buildings and transportation required by state policies will rapidly increase peak and annual energy demand.
  • As more wind, solar, and storage plants are added to the grid, Dispatchable Emission-Free Resources (DEFRs) must be developed and added to the system at scale to reliably serve demand when intermittent generation is unavailable. 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. Fossil generation will likely need to be retained past the 2040 mandates to keep the system reliable if DEFR technology is not in operation.

Recommendations and Observations

The findings identified in the Outlook underscore the challenges that must be taken into consideration as the state proceeds with implementation of its clean energy and climate change initiative:

  • Many transmission needs will arise over the next 20 years driven by public policy requirements, most notably the CLCPA and the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. 
  • Situational awareness of system changes and continuous assessment are critical to ensure a reliable and lower-emissions grid for New York. NYISO databases and models will be continually updated with new information and the Outlook study will be improved and performed on a biennial basis.
  • The scope of the additional renewable resource need is remarkable. The installation rate in the next 20 years must increase significantly to achieve state law climate change requirements. State agencies should consider releasing a more detailed procurement schedule for renewable resources to guide the long-term system planning and provide clarity to the market.

Additional Resources

2021-2040 System & Resource Outlook
Outlook datasheet
2040 Grid 
Power Trends 2022  

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.