ISO-NE Board of Directors takes public input, outlines clean energy goals

ISO New England Board of Directors Chair Cheryl LaFleur, center, opens the board’s open meeting November 1 in Providence, Rhode Island. Also pictured from left are Board member Caren Anders, ISO-NE President and CEO Gordon van Welie, and Chief Operating Officer Vamsi Chadalavada.

ISO New England’s Board of Directors recently held an open meeting where it heard public input and discussed steps the organization is taking to facilitate the transition to clean energy while maintaining power grid reliability.

“The work of the board, of course, is overseeing the work of the management of ISO New England in planning and operating the region’s electricity markets and the region’s transmission grid,” Board Chair Cheryl LaFleur said in opening the meeting November 1 in Providence, Rhode Island.

“That work is happening at a time when the region is obviously making a major transition in the way it generates and uses electricity in response to climate change, and that climate transition is shaping a lot of the work and a lot of the things that the board focuses on,” LaFleur said.

Jonas Kaplan-Bucciarelli addresses the Board during the public comment period.

The meeting included presentations on the ISO’s ongoing work as well as emerging energy storage technologies.

President and CEO Gordon van Welie outlined the ISO’s Strategic Plan, which describes how the organization intends to fulfill its three critical roles of power grid operation, market administration, and power system planning as the industry and the region transition to a cleaner power system.

Chief Operating Officer Vamsi Chadalavada discussed the development of new market mechanisms that, if approved by federal regulators, will more equitably assess diverse resources’ contributions to energy adequacy and expand opportunities for energy storage on the grid.

Board members Catherine Flax and Brook Colangelo listen to a public comments.

Professors Robert Armstrong and Richard Schmalensee discussed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s recent “Future of Energy Storage” report, which details how developing storage technologies could fit into the power grid in New England and elsewhere in the decades ahead.

Presentation slides can be viewed here, and a video of the meeting is below.

David Hughes addresses the Board.

Fourteen people spoke during the meeting’s public comment period, most representing environmental groups and urging an end to the use of fossil fuels and greater adoption of demand response practices to reduce energy use.

“Even though we didn’t get into going back and forth with everyone, we found the comments very valuable and meaningful,” LaFleur said.

The public may continue to submit comments by emailing legal@iso-ne.com. The Board plans to host another public meeting next year focusing on transmission issues.

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