On April 5, 2010, the New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) released its annual New York State energy report, Power Trends 2010: New York’s Emerging Energy Crossroads (the “Report”).  The Report identified the key energy issues for New York along with several NYISO initiatives in place to address topics like energy efficiency, smart grid technology, renewable resource development, and transmission congestion.  More generally, the Report also touched upon the effects of the recent economic downturn and how it will be a key driver of all issues discussed in the Report. 
NYISO first discussed New York’s general electricity outlook in the report.  The NYISO concluded that generation supplies are not a near term concern, but then also noted that there are many items which will impact the power system’s changing needs.  The items include reliability and efficiency issues, as well as the ability to serve customers economically.  To address these issues, the New York State Energy Planning Board approved the 2009 State Energy Plan.  This plan addresses the development of energy efficiency, in-state energy resources, renewable energy technologies, and Smart Grid infrastructure.

NYISO’s Report also highlighted government programs designed to achieve conservation and energy efficiency goals.  The Report explained that New York has a goal of reducing annual electric usage from 2007 levels by 15 percent by 2015.  To aid this goal, the New York State Public Service Commission created the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard in 2008.  Additionally, NYISO stated in the Report that Smart Grid technology, which has its own emerging issues, will eventually aid the goals of conservation and efficiency.

NYISO’s Report also addressed the importance of renewable energy in the State Energy Plan and the need to adjust to wind power through balancing, storage, and ramping capabilities.  The Report indicates that in 2009, almost 1,300 MW of wind-powered generation was in place in New York, with an additional 7,000 MW already proposed.  Capitalizing on the benefit of variable sources like wind necessitates new technology and energy storage, and increased trade in regional power markets.  The Report indicated that these items are all goals of the NYISO.  Additionally, new technologies such as flywheels, advanced batteries, compressed air storage, and plug-in electric vehicles are a new type of resource that might help lower costs for customers. 

Transmission congestion was also discussed in the Report.  According to the Report, NYISO issued a first-of-its-kind economic analysis of transmission congestion on the New York bulk power system in January 2010.  From this analysis, NYISO developed broad solutions for transmission, generation, and demand response projects in areas it identified as congested.  Moving forward, NYISO indicated in the Report that it hopes to increase coordination with its neighbors to reduce congestion and “expand the availability of resources for all power systems in the region.”
Finally, the Report discussed current and possible future regulatory action in New York.  This includes restrictions on carbon emissions as a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Governor Paterson’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 80 percent below the levels in 1990 by 2050.  Other environmental regulations that may come forth relate to nitrogen oxide emissions limitations, ozone standards, and water quality protections.  NYISO stated in the Report that the potential for these regulations, along with the previously mentioned issues, warrants continued analysis so that NYISO can continue to improve New York’s electricity outlook.  

A full copy of the Report can be found at NYISO’s website, at www.nyiso.com.