CEO outlines ISO-NE initiatives at power system forum

New England must balance multiple objectives as it navigates the clean energy transition. Collaboration and innovation will be required to maintain robust wholesale markets that ensure reliability while the states promote rapid development of renewable resources.

That was the message ISO-NE President and CEO Gordon van Welie brought to the New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable on March 22. Hosted by Raab Associates and Foley Hoag in Boston, the quarterly forum on energy issues brings together industry leaders, state officials, and advocates.

ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie
Gordon van Welie

In his presentation , van Welie outlined the “four pillars” necessary for a reliable clean energy transition and related ISO initiatives now underway with input from stakeholders. Those include efforts to modernize the capacity market and more accurately assess resources’ unique contributions to energy adequacy, as well as studies looking at transmission needs and extreme weather risks. Net carbon pricing, van Welie suggested, could be an additional market-based tool to help the New England states realize their clean energy goals.

He spoke as part of a “Big Picture” panel that also featured Charles Dickerson, CEO, Northeast Power Coordinating Council, and Katie Dykes, commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The panelists fielded questions on demand response, the role of batteries in maintaining grid stability, and more.

A “Stakeholder Perspectives” panel followed, with insights from Alicia Barton, CEO, Vineyard Offshore; Nathan Hanson, president, LS Power; Liz Anderson, chief, Energy & Ratepayer Advocacy Division, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; and Dan Sosland, president, Acadia Center.

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