ISO-NE/NYISO conference spotlights grid changes underway, associated challenges, and need for collaboration among industry sectors

It was a packed house at the joint ISO New England and New York ISO Energy Conference, “Navigating Change,” held on May 9 and 10 in Boston. More than 300 people attended the event to hear from industry experts and leading policymakers about the ongoing transformation in the electricity industry, and how the industry should respond and navigate through this period of rapid change.

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee offered opening remarks, touching on the need for a diverse energy portfolio and the potential role that hydro power could play toward meeting state renewable energy policy goals. Next up, keynote speaker Gil Quiniones, CEO of the New York Power Authority, talked about the extensive work underway on the New York Energy Highway and how future investments to strengthen and modernize the grid will help the state keep pace with the growing needs of its residents.

A second keynote speaker, Ernie Hayden, Managing Principal of Verizon’s RISK Team, offered insights on the topic of cybersecurity, noting that the environment for cyber threats is growing, and the need for the industry to be vigilant and proactive with security measures is key to defending against these ever-evolving threats.

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Gil Quiniones, New York Power Authority CEOErnie Hayden, Verizon RISK Team Managing Principal

Two lively panel sessions kept the discussion going about the technologies and policies that will affect the future of the regional power grid, and the roles that the states, utilities, market participants, consumers and others can play in the swiftly-changing electricity industry.

Panel 1 ‘Drivers of Change’—Moderator: David Cash, MA Department of Public Utilities; Panelists: Julien Dumoulin-Smith, UBS Investment Research; Franz Litz, Pace Energy and Climate Center; Byron Flynn, GE Digital Energy; Richard Smead, Navigant Consulting, Inc.; Francis Murray, Jr., New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Panel 2 ‘Navigating through Change’—Moderator: Garry Brown, New York State Public Service Commission; Panelists: Matt Dunne, Google; Anne Stubbs, Coalition of Northeastern Governors; Thomas King, National Grid; Lee Davis, NRG Energy; Vincent Morrissette, Repsol Energy; Robert Gramlich, American Wind Energy Association; Alex Kinnier, Opower

Inside ISO New England