NYISO report highlights risks to future grid reliability


RENSSELAER – The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), Wednesday, released a 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 also 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. This latest report 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.

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, the report stated. 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 report said 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 10 years. Without emergency assistance from neighboring regions, there would not be sufficient resources to serve demand within New York throughout the planning horizon.

The report also said 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 10 years, especially in 2025.

The study said 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 10 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.