On September 22, 2010, the New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) released its 2010 reliability needs assessment (“RNA”) which was approved by the Board of Directors.  This is the fifth RNA NYISO has released since 2004, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approved NYISO’s Comprehensive System Planning Process.

As part of the RNA, NYISO conducted “scenario analyses” to test their needs assessment studies and determined that reliability violations could occur if the Indian Point plant was retired at the end of its license expiration date.  The RNA’s assessments relied upon the continued operation of all transmission and generating facilities, including the Indian Point nuclear units.  NYISO also examined the effect of environmental program initiatives on New York generators and concluded that air program initiatives could result in retirements that are greater than the amount of capacity that is allowed to be lost as stated in the “Capacity at Risk” limits, and this could lead to resource adequacy violations.  NYISO also found that a stronger than expected economic recovery could mean reliability risks in 2019.

Despite the challenges noted in the “scenario analyses,” NYISO concluded that there are no “Reliability Needs” at this time, assuming that transmission and generation facilities stay in service from 2011-2020.  NYISO listed three primary reasons for these findings as:

  • Generation additions are forthcoming with two new proposed generating plants totaling 1060 MW of new capacity; 
  • Lower Energy Forecast based on the 2009 recession and Statewide Energy Efficiency Programs; and
  • Increased registration of Special Case Resources (“SCR”), a demand response program which aims to reduce power usage.

Further, NYISO stated it will not issue a request for additional reliability solutions and will continue to evaluate the progress of the market-based solutions.  This course of action will allow NYISO to determine if the resource adequacy and security needs for the New York power grid are being met.

A full copy of NYISO’s RNA is available here.