ISO New England continues engagement on Quadrennial Energy Review

QER stakeholder outreach process in final stages

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is currently drafting a report on priority issues in the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). Continuing ISO New England’s participation in the QER process, President and CEO Gordon van Welie sent a letter to IEEE’s QER Joint Task Force leads and William Hederman, DOE’s Deputy Director for Systems Integration and Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Moniz, in response to IEEE’s draft report.

In his August 15 response, van Welie highlighted the importance of building additional infrastructure in New England to meet the growing demand for natural gas. The letter noted that New England’s dependence on natural gas continues to increase as coal- and oil-fired units retire and that fast-ramping resources (like natural gas) are critical to reliably incorporating higher levels of variable resources into the electric grid.

The IEEE draft report recommends a number of steps to safely integrate greater levels of wind, distributed generation (notably solar photovoltaics), microgrids, and smart grid programs. In his letter, van Welie outlined the research and actions being taken by ISO New England (and a number of New England states) to prepare for—and successfully harness—many of these resources.

van Welie responded to the IEEE’s call for increased coordination between the natural gas and electricity markets by noting that ISO New England has been involved in the process led by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Energy Standards Board to better align the two markets. He also pointed out the regional enhancements being made to New England markets focused on improved resource performance and reliability.

In closing, van Welie relayed a number of the initiatives being taken by the ISO to strengthen the cyber and physical defenses to protect critical electric assets. These actions include participating in the process to create a cybersecurity framework needed to comply with a 2013 White House executive order, raising the level of awareness internally at the ISO, and participating in a national cybersecurity exercise in 2013 (GridEx II). These actions are in addition to the mandatory compliance required by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards (the electric industry is the only industry subject to mandatory and enforceable cybersecurity standards). 

The IEEE is expected to release its final report on the QER in late August.

QER Outreach, RSP Public Meeting

Melanie Kenderdine, DOE’s Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, will speak about the QER during her keynote address at the 2014 Regional System Plan Public Meeting at the Seaport Hotel in Boston on September 11.

DOE intends to hold several more regional stakeholders meetings on the QER before wrapping up its public outreach effort in the coming weeks (including meetings in New York and New Jersey). These meetings are similar to the outreach meetings DOE convened in Providence, RI and Hartford, CT on April 21. van Welie presented at the Hartford meeting, and his formal statement and presentation can be found on the ISO’s website (this April 24 Newswire piece has more information on the meeting).  van Welie presented a similar message at the IEEE’s General Meeting on July 29.

About the QER
The Quadrennial Energy Review process was directed through a Presidential Memorandum with a one-year progress report expected to be delivered in January 2015. DOE has announced its first-year focus is on the transmission, storage and distribution of energy, which will likely be followed by attention to the production and generation of energy and issues impacting end-users.

DOE continues to accept public comments on the QER process at:

Inside ISO New England