ISO-NE president outlines progress, next steps in clean energy transition

On January 3, the Boston Globe published an opinion piece from ISO New England President and CEO Gordon van Welie on the progress made, and challenges ahead, in the region’s clean energy transition.

“Getting to a power system that runs on primarily clean energy isn’t as simple as flipping a switch, but the decarbonization goals set by the states guide the region toward that end,” van Welie writes. “Renewable energy’s share of the power mix grows each year, leading oil and coal plants to either retire or run less frequently. These carbon-intensive resources provided less than 1 percent of the region’s electricity in 2021.”

In the piece, van Welie discusses ISO New England’s work to integrate clean energy resources into the region’s operations, markets, and long-term planning.

“The region will need to make significant investments in building critical infrastructure, including new transmission lines to carry energy generated by offshore wind and solar farms to its destination,” he writes. “In addition, existing power plants and fuel sources will need to be retained and maintained to provide critical energy supply reserves until long-duration storage technologies take hold.”

One challenge will be the expected doubling of electricity demand by the middle of the century as the use of electric vehicles and heating systems grows. Another will be the region’s notoriously difficult siting processes for energy generation and transmission.

“The reality is that many things have to be in place to facilitate clean energy growth, and the ISO is doing its part to make it possible,” van Welie writes.

You can read the full op-ed on the Boston Globe website.

Inside ISO New England
clean energy, transmission planning