Albany, N.Y., April 27, 2010 — Economic recovery will involve building a “smarter, greener, more efficient electric grid,” Steven G. Whitley, the President and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator, told a gathering of government, industry and academic leaders at an event held in Albany, N.Y.
In opening remarks to a NYISO-sponsored symposium, Planning the Sustainable Grid of the Future, Whitley noted that a variety of factors would affect the nature of the economic recovery, including state and federal policies promoting energy efficiency, new technologies, increased use of renewable energy and expanded environmental regulation of power production.
“Building a sustainable recovery will not be “Ëœbusiness-as-usual.’ It will involve making changes that produce a smarter, greener, more efficient electric grid,” Whitley said.
The impact of the recession on electricity demand included a nationwide 4.2 percent decline in 2009, the biggest single-year decline in 60 years. In New York State, the reduction in power demand was almost identical to the national average, a 4.1 percent decline, according to the NYISO.
As New York State and the nation emerge from the recession, government policies and programs encouraging energy efficiency and conservation are expected to moderate the growth of electricity demand.
Renewable energy resources, such as wind power, will produce a growing portion of the power supplied to New Yorkers. New York State’s “45 x 15″ energy strategy aims to increase renewable power production and have it account for 30 percent of New York’s total electricity supply, while also reducing consumption by 15 percent of forecast levels by the year 2015.
Whitley said that New York’s marketplace for electricity also provides incentives for the growth of green power and that the NYISO has taken steps such as pioneering centralized wind forecasting system, becoming the first ISO/RTO to integrate wind power in economic dispatch and developing new market rules to encourage the development of energy storage technologies.
“Creating a smarter grid involves a new vision of the interaction between the power system and the consumer. Customers will be empowered with access to detailed pricing information, while system operators such as the NYISO will have more and better tools to manage an increasingly sophisticated bulk electricity system,” Whitley said.
The NYISO and the New York Transmission Owners were awarded federal stimulus funds for smart grid in 2009.
Those funds will support investments in technology to provide enhanced system visibility and improve the efficiency of power flows.
“Technology and teamwork will be vital to the effort,” Whitley stated as he stressed the need to remove barriers to trade and improve the flow of power between regional power markets. The use of variable energy resources, such as wind power, and storage from remote locations would be enhanced by increased collaboration and cooperation among grid operators, he noted.
The NYISO is a 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.