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VIDEO: Episode 3 - Keeping the Lights On

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VIDEO: Episode 3 - Keeping the Lights On

April 29, 2022

In August of 2003, a combination of transmission line outages and communications failures in the Midwest led to one of the largest blackouts in U.S. history, plunging much of the eastern seaboard into darkness.

“It certainly caught New Yorkers by surprise,” recalled Rick Gonzalez, NYISO’s Chief Operating Officer, “It was extraordinary, the magnitude and the cost and the concern of how this could happen.”

The NYISO is responsible for balancing electrical load with supply on the New York grid, as well as dispatching energy and overseeing power flows on the transmission system. Planning for grid reliability is core to all that we do. 

Episode 3 of our video series, the Grid of the Future, looks at lessons learned from previous outages and steps we’ve taken to avoid a similar event from happening in the future. We also look at the impacts of major weather-related events, like Hurricane Sandy, and the steps we’re taking to address more frequent extreme weather in the future related to climate change.

Former FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable notes, "This work is particularly complex and complicated for the New York ISO in particular, where there are very clear and forward leaning goals to remove gas from the energy mix. However, we can have a bit of a disconnect if that work is not carried out and that transition is not done thoughtfully, carefully, and taking into account the very practical and realistic evolution that must occur."

View our latest video to hear more from Honorable and Gonzalez, as well as NYISO Vice President of System & Resource Planning Zach Smith as they discuss how we’re preparing a reliable grid for the many changes still to come. 


Visit the #GridoftheFuture webpage.

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.

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