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PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Releases Power Trends 2020: The Vision for a Greener Grid

June 10, 2020

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) today released Power Trends 2020: The Vision for a Greener Grid. The NYISO’s annual publication provides critical information and analysis on how dynamic factors such as technology, economic forces, and public policies are shaping New York’s complex electric system.

This year’s Power Trends focuses on how the grid is being shaped by the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and other policies. The report also highlights opportunities for the NYISO markets, operations, and planning processes to support and achieve the renewable and carbon reduction mandates set forth by the CLCPA.

Power Trends comes as we all continue to grapple with the health and economic challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis. The crisis has underscored the importance of a reliable electric system. The NYISO took unprecedented steps to secure reliability, ranging from work-from home for most staff to sequestration of essential grid operators at the main and alternate control centers.

“2020 has proven to be a year unlike any other in recent memory,” said Rich Dewey, President and CEO of the New York ISO. “Through these challenges, the NYISO remains committed to engaging stakeholders, market participants, policymakers, and the public, to support an electric system that is reliable, efficient, affordable, and clean.”

To deliver on its mission, the NYISO firmly believes that it must continue to enhance the benefits of its wholesale markets and system planning while maintaining grid reliability for New York’s electric energy consumers.

Power Trends includes a discussion of historical and emerging trends in energy consumption, production, and transmission that portrays a grid in transition. It discusses key policy and technological developments influencing these trends, and offers perspectives on how the NYISO intends to lead this transition by engaging policymakers and stakeholders to enhance its markets and planning processes to support the needs of the grid of the future.

State of the Grid

  • The NYISO’s competitive wholesale electricity markets have delivered economic and environmental benefits for New York. Working in tandem with state environmental and energy policies, the carbon dioxide emission rate from the power sector has declined by 55% since the inception of NYISO markets 20 years ago. Further, average annual wholesale energy prices in the NYISO’s market reached a record low of $32.59/MWh in 2019.

Competitive Markets for a Grid in Transition

To address the integration of renewable resources into the system, the NYISO has identified several recommended market design and system planning enhancements, including:

  • Carbon Pricing: A proposal to internalize the social cost of carbon dioxide emissions in the NYISO’s wholesale energy markets. Implementation requires market participant and state support, and federal regulatory approval.
  • Enhance Energy and Ancillary Services: To prepare for the grid of the future, the NYISO is pursuing enhancements to its energy and ancillary services pricing such that prices are consistent with evolving grid conditions and that send price signals incenting supply and demand to be more responsive to real-time system conditions.
  • Energy Storage Resource Integration: In 2018, the NYISO developed market rules for integration of energy storage resources in wholesale markets. FERC accepted these rules, which are expected to be implemented this year.
  • Distributed Energy Resources: In 2019, the NYISO worked with its stakeholders to develop a comprehensive set of rules to integrate Distributed Energy Resources into wholesale markets. FERC accepted these rules in January 2020 and they are scheduled to go into effect in 2021.
  • Comprehensive Mitigation Review: A holistic examination of the NYISO’s capacity market rules to evaluate how the capacity market can be modified in a manner that preserves competitive price signals and economic efficiency while maintaining system reliability and supporting the CLCPA requirements.

Planning for a Grid in Transition

  • The NYISO is conducting a number of important studies to inform future market, planning and operational enhancements. Among these studies are the Congestion Assessment and Resource Integration Study (CARIS), which includes a scenario analyzing the CLCPA’s 70% renewable energy production by 2030 requirement, and a Reliability Needs Assessment (RNA) that will take into account compliance plans for the DEC’s “peaker rule” that provides for more stringent emissions limits from combustion turbines, predominantly located in southeast New York.
  • The NYISO is also undertaking a multi-phase Climate Change Impact & Resilience Study to inform future market, planning and operational enhancements that might be necessary to meet system needs and conditions as demands on, and conditions faced by, the grid change over time.

Enhancing Grid Resilience

  • The NYISO has a comprehensive program for addressing cyber and physical security risks. This program draws from mandatory and other industry standards and guidelines. The NYISO implements its compliance with mandatory cyber and physical security requirements as part of a layered, defense-in-depth strategy that relies on processes, state-of-the-art technology, and skilled staff to protect its critical infrastructure assets from incursion. The NYISO has also established a comprehensive organizational business continuity and disaster recovery program that safeguards business information systems and provides contingency plans in the event of a significant disruption of NYISO systems or facilities.

As policymakers seek a more rapid and widespread change in how energy is produced and consumed, the NYISO markets and planning processes serve as a platform to facilitate this transformation. Through engagement with policymakers, regulators, and stakeholders, the NYISO intends to develop the innovative market products and planning tools designed to address the needs of the grid of the future.

Download the Power Trends 2020 report.

Visit the Power Trends 2020 web page for additional figures, graphics and downloads.

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.