Summer 2016 was fairly uneventful until August arrived with its long stretches of hot, humid weather that pushed up demand for air conditioning and the electricity that powers it. Despite a high number of unexpected resource outages on one August day, ISO New England’s control room operators were able to operate the power system reliably that day and throughout the summer.
Entries in system operations (35)
New energy-storage options emerging in New England; ISO-NE publishes primer and makes FERC filing on market participation
June 22 update: Information added on ISO-NE’s May FERC filing. Proposed project megawatts (MW) were also updated to reflect the withdrawal of 50 MW of battery storage to have been included as part of a proposed new natural-gas-fired generator.
For the first time, grid-scale (or utility-scale) battery storage projects are seeking to join New England’s regional power system. Late last year, three projects with a combined 94 megawatts (MW) in nameplate capacity applied for interconnection in Maine, with one planning to go live by the end of 2016 and the other two in 2019.*
ISO-NE incorporates wind-powered resources into real-time dispatch with Do Not Exceed Dispatch Project
The change helps improve price formation in the markets and marks an important milestone in ISO New England’s efforts to efficiently integrate renewable resources
On May 25, the region’s wind-powered resources and intermittent hydro resources began taking electronic dispatch instructions from ISO New England for the first time and became eligible to set real-time prices in the wholesale electricity marketplace. These changes were effected by the Do Not Exceed (DNE) Dispatch Project in which the ISO worked with stakeholders to implement a modified electronic dispatch method for these intermittent resources. The new system is expected to improve price formation in the marketplace and system use of low-cost renewable resources in areas with limited transmission capacity by:
As the region gears up for a season of fun in the sun, ISO New England prepares for conditions unique to the hot, humid summer months. Peak demand brought on by warmer weather and an increased reliance on energy-intensive technologies, such as air conditioning, can create complex challenges for the grid operator.
To maintain a reliable supply of electricity to New England’s residents and businesses, the ISO’s System Operations team must rely on carefully planned procedures to increase power generation and curb consumption during periods when demand for electricity threatens to exceed available capacity and reserves. High consumer demand or unplanned resource outages—when a transmission line or generator suddenly goes offline—are typically the reasons for these procedures to be enacted.
Some natural gas generators may need to get their fuel from other sources during pipeline construction
Under normal weather conditions of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F), electricity resources should be sufficient to meet consumer demand this summer, with a forecasted peak of 26,704 MW megawatts (MW). Extreme weather of 94°F could push up electricity demand to 29,042 MW. Construction work on the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure will require some power plants to obtain fuel from different sources. View the press release.
Compared to winters past, the winter of 2015-2016 featured above-average temperatures and a brief cold snap in February. Many in the region have called it the “the winter that wasn’t.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this winter was the warmest on record in the US. The average temperature in the lower 48 states was 36.8°F, which is 4.6°F above the 20th-century average. That beats the previous record of 36.5 degrees set in the winter of 1999-2000.