T&D World Magazine
NYISO: Evolving Grid and Emerging Markets Shape Strategic Plan

NYISO: Evolving Grid and Emerging Markets Shape Strategic Plan

Grid evolution, emerging markets and broader regional cooperation continue to shape the multi-year Strategic Plan of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).

The 2015-2019 Strategic Plan details key priorities that the NYISO will focus on over the next several years. A five-year blueprint for addressing market dynamics, the annual strategic plan incorporates long-term strategic objectives, financial discipline and operational priorities.

The plan is based on the NYISO board's review of financial and regulatory outlooks, economic and environmental factors affecting market participants and the ability of competitive wholesale electricity markets to strengthen electric grid reliability, bolster grid resilience and achieve energy policy priorities.

"Growing reliance on natural gas to generate electricity, the expanding role of distributed energy resources and the potential effects of rigorous environmental regulation are key factors influencing the future of the electric system and our strategic priorities," said NYISO Board Chair Michael Bemis.

The Strategic Plan also serves as the building block for the NYISO's annual Business Plan, which sets business and project priorities for the year to come.

"Improved coordination between the electric and natural gas industries remains a priority, as do efforts to plan for fuel availability and sending the right price signals to ensure sufficient supplier performance incentives exist during critical periods," said NYISO President and CEO Stephen Whitley. "It is extremely important that the bulk electric system and the gas pipeline infrastructure be built out to protect reliability and optimize all resources for the benefit of N.Y. consumers as we grow more dependent on natural gas."

"The NYISO will continue to make improvements in interregional transaction coordination with our neighbors, implement the public policy planning processes required by FERC Order 1000 and implement the requirements of the expanded definition of the bulk electric system. We also will be supporting efforts to enhance the electric system's infrastructure to provide a more robust, reliable and resilient power grid," Whitley said.

As natural gas markets and infrastructure are a regional concern, the NYISO is helping lead efforts to improve visibility and awareness of developments in the gas infrastructure that may impact power generation across independent system operators and regional transmission organizations (ISO/RTOs). In addition, distributed energy resources (DERs), which operate closer to the end user on the distribution system, can have implications for high-voltage, bulk system operations and wholesale market pricing as the grid evolves to incorporate more technology and smart grid initiatives.

Over the next five years, the NYISO will lead efforts in the following areas:

  • Electric-Gas Coordination-Optimizing operational coordination between the gas pipeline delivery system and the New York bulk electric system to preserve electric system reliability and maintain competitive and efficient markets.
  • Demand Response & Distributed Energy Resources-Facilitating the integration of demand response and distributed energy resources into wholesale electricity markets. The NYISO will continue to work with the New York State Public Service Commission through its Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding to integrate DER into grid operations, system planning and market design.
  • Planning: Eastern Interconnect Planning Collaborative, Transmission Expansion, and Public Policy-Upgrading and modernizing New York's transmission infrastructure in a manner that most effectively complements competitive wholesale power markets. The NYISO continues to serves as an authoritative source of information to policymakers, market participants and consumers in the assessment of a project's impact on competitive markets, system reliability, energy prices and the environment.
  • Energy & Capacity Market Enhancements-Providing enhanced capacity and energy price signals to promote greater fuel assurance and improved unit performance from capacity resources during critical operating periods, providing sufficient market signals to trigger investment in new capacity where and when it is needed and improving capacity resource portability to allow regional resources to meet capacity requirements in the most efficient manner possible.
  • Broader Regional Markets-Working with neighboring ISO/RTOs to implement solutions that expand the benefits of competitive markets and take advantage of interregional connectivity to lower system costs, maintain reliability and facilitate renewable resource integration.
  • Technology and Smart Grid-Developing a seamless, automated transmission system that optimizes resource use for maximum system efficiency while continuously adapting to dynamic operational conditions spurred by the increased penetration of renewable resources and increased load variability.

At its core, the NYISO remains committed to maintaining its role as a leader in grid reliability, a leader in market design and performance and excellence in execution in all aspects of its work as well as maintaining robust planning processes, fostering technological innovation and serving as an authoritative source of information for policymakers, market participants and consumers.

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