2019 Regional System Plan Public Meeting was a great day of discussion about the future of New England’s power system

ISO New England held its biennial Regional System Plan Public Meeting in Boston, Mass. on September 12, 2019, to present the final draft 2019 Regional System Plan (RSP 19) and receive feedback from stakeholders. Mike Henderson, the ISO’s Director of Regional Planning and Coordination, walked the audience through the highlights from the RSP19 report, concluding that the region’s power system is prepared to reliably serve its load forecast over the next 10 years. Following the meeting, the report undergoes final revisions based on stakeholder input and updated data. The ISO Board then votes to approve the report in October, after which the ISO posts the final version on the Planning Advisory Committee webpage.

Meeting highlights

Welcoming a full room, Anne George, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, and Vickie VanZandt, ISO Board Member (pictured), commenced the meeting with a thank you to recently retired Stephen Rourke. Rourke, former Vice President of System Planning, oversaw nearly every RSP over the past two decades.

Damir Novosel, President and Founder of Quanta Technology, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the importance of coordinating energy policy goals with physical system capabilities and engineering principles. Novosel asserted that because electricity is the key to achieving societal and economic goals, decarbonizing our grid must be done in careful concert with maintaining reliability, safety, and affordability.

ISO Board Memeber Brook Colangelo led a panel session entitled, “Transition to the Grid of the Future: Adapting to Disruptive Technologies,” along with From left to right: Damir Novosel, Katherine Prewitt, Mark O’Malley, Marshall Van Alstyne, Brook Colangelo. experts Mark O’Malley of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Katherine Prewitt of Eversource Energy, and Marshall Van Alstyne of Boston University. Novosel also joined the panel for a lively discussion about what the future of the grid will look like, and if the power sector can learn from the lessons from other sectors that have been “disrupted” by rapid technological changes. The panel agreed that ongoing collaboration and communication among all stakeholders was the most essential feature to ensure a successful transformation and decarbonization of our energy system.

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