Asset Publisher

Back PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Report Highlights Risks to Future Grid Reliability


PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Report Highlights Risks to Future Grid Reliability

November 30, 2022
Major pending projects like Champlain Hudson Power Express must stay on schedule.

Rensselaer, NY --The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) today released an important report on the future reliability of the electric grid that finds thinning reliability margins over the next decade driven by the retirement of gas-fired generation and electrification. The report further concluded that future reliability is dependent on the coordinated scheduling of new generation and transmission projects, as well as close monitoring of changes in energy demand, public policy, and extreme weather.

The 2022 Reliability Needs Assessment (RNA) is conducted every two years and evaluates grid reliability over the next 10 years. The 2022 RNA found that while there is not an immediate reliability need, changes in the economy, new generation technology, extreme weather and policy drivers are creating challenges for the future grid that may require actions to avoid interruptions in electric service.

“We see reliability margins narrowing to concerning levels as early as 2023,” said Zach G. Smith, Vice President of System and Resource Planning. “To meet policy goals and maintain reliability we need to use the power of markets to mitigate these risks as we bring new resources on the grid.”

RNA Overview

  • While the RNA does not identify any immediate Reliability Needs, resource adequacy and transmission security margins are tightening across the New York grid through time.
    • New York will likely experience even smaller margins if additional power plants become unavailable or if demand is greater than forecasted.
    • If the margins are totally depleted, the risk of a reliability violation is increased.
    • The NYISO operates the bulk electric system according to the strictest reliability standards in the country.
    • The margins for transmission security are narrower than the margins for resource adequacy.
  • Additional risk factors beyond what is assumed in the 2022 RNA (e.g., climate, economic, regulatory, and policy drivers) may accelerate the narrowing or depletion of these reliability margins.

Key Findings

  • Resource adequacy and transmission security margins are tightening across the New York grid over time.
  • New York’s current reliance on neighboring systems is expected to continue through the next ten years.
    • Without emergency assistance from neighboring regions, there would not be sufficient resources to serve demand within New York throughout the planning horizon.
  • The summer reliability margins improve in 2026 with the scheduled addition of the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) connection from Hydro Quebec to New York City but reduce through time as demand grows within New York City.
    • Potential heatwaves of various degrees pose risks throughout the next ten years, especially in 2025.
    • While CHPE will contribute to reliability in the summer, the facility is not obligated to provide any capacity in the winter. The NYISO is expected to be a winter peaking system in the next decade as vehicle fleets and buildings electrify.
  • The New York statewide grid as planned will be reliable in the winter for the next ten years but will be stressed under gas supply shortage conditions that can occur during cold snaps.
  • While transmission security within New York City is maintained through the ten-year period in accordance with current design criteria, the margins are very tight and decrease to approximately 50 MW by 2025.
  • With the addition of CHPE project in 2026, the margin improves but reduces to near 100 MW by 2032.
  • The reliability margins within New York City may not be sufficient even for expected weather if:
    • the CHPE project experiences a significant delay,
    • forecasted demand in New York City increases by as little as 60 MW in 2025, or
    • there are additional generator deactivations beyond what is already planned.
  • Some generation expected to deactivate in 2025 pursuant to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation emissions rules may need to remain in service until CHPE or other permanent solutions are completed to maintain a reliable grid.
  • With increased renewable intermittent generation for achievement of the CLCPA goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030, at least 17,000 MW of existing fossil must be retained to continue to reliably serve forecasted demand.  Beyond 2030, dispatchable emissions-free resources (DEFRs) will be needed to balance intermittent supply with demand.

Additional Resources

RNA Datasheet 
Full Report
Report Appendices

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.