Entries in system operations (58)


“Keeping the lights on”: Summer interns meet system operators, tour backup control room

“What is ISO New England?” When you’re short on time, the go-to answer is five words. “We keep the lights on.” Brief and accurate, it’s the easiest way to describe what we do at the ISO. But the control room, where ISO system operators man the front lines of that responsibility, is a mysterious place.

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ISO-NE expects sufficient power supplies this summer

New England is expected to have sufficient resources to meet peak consumer demand for electricity this summer under both typical and extreme weather conditions.

ISO New England prepares short-term forecasts for the summer and winter seasons, taking into account estimated contributions from all resources, including those with and without an obligation through the capacity market to supply electricity; unplanned resource outages; imports from neighboring regions; and resource additions and retirements. These estimates help inform ISO New England’s planning on how to operate the grid during the upcoming peak season.

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2018 transmission-outage coordination stats and goals

ISO-NE had requests for almost 3,500 planned outages and handled over 800 unplanned outages last year

No one wants a power line to stop working unexpectedly, like during a major storm. But power lines and other transmission equipment must undergo some down time so that participating transmission owners (PTOs) can conduct routine maintenance for avoiding emergencies, accommodate new construction, or address problems that crop up. One of the ISO’s responsibilities is to analyze impacts of and schedule these outages all over New England with the PTOs and local control centers (LCCs) so that the PTOs do not remove their equipment from service at the same time or when an outage will negatively affect some other ongoing activity. The long-term scheduling of transmission outages is critical because it gives the ISO the time to measure both the reliability and economic impacts of proposed outages to the system and communicate the probable effects to market participants, which helps keep the energy markets operating efficiently.

The ISO New England Transmission Equipment Outage Coordination 2018 report summarizes the outage process that took place in 2018, the number and types of outages that occurred, and the 2019 goals for the ISO’s Outage-Coordination group for improving outage coordination, reducing congestion costs, and increasing operational flexibility.

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ISO-NE publishes 2019 Regional Electricity Outlook 

ISO New England has published its 2019 Regional Electricity Outlook (REO), an annual report looking at the trends affecting New England’s power system and the innovative solutions the ISO is pursuing to ensure reliable electricity for the region’s homes and businesses—today and into the future. New England’s traditional power grid is rapidly becoming a hybrid system where electricity needs will be met by conventional resources and significant amounts of large-scale renewable resources connected to the regional transmission system, in combination with thousands of small resources connected directly to retail customers or local distribution utilities. The report describes how the ISO is working to solve the operational and market challenges that emerge during this major transformation. The 2019 REO is available at www.iso-ne.com/reo.


Powering (another) Patriots Super Bowl!

The New England Patriots being in the Super Bowl has become routine around these parts, and so have the patterns of demand on the region’s electric grid during the big game.

Over the past several years, ISO New England has reported on the way the Super Bowl affects the way New Englanders use energy, with last year’s battle between the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles no exception. All the tell-tale signs of a Super Bowl were there – the slight jumps in demand during commercial breaks, the spike at halftime and a slight bump at the end, as party-goers returned home.

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Argonne National Laboratory helps ISO-NE system operators prepare for impacts of major winter storm 

A “classic” Nor’easter can be anything but routine to the power grid

Nor’easters are a trademark of New England winters but the timing, intensity, and impact of such storms are far from predictable. ISO system operators must be prepared to operate the grid through a wide variety of wintertime scenarios.

This year, scientists from the Argonne National Laboratory studied previous Nor’easters and provided the ISO with a detailed analysis of the potential effects a major winter storm could have on the New England power system.

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