ISO-NE: Reliability improved, but more gas capacity needed for upcoming winter
New England’s transmission system is improving, but according to the region’s grid operator, requires additional transmission, generation and gas pipeline capacity.
According to ISO New England’s draft regional plan — set to be finalized in November — transmission owners placed more than 600 projects into service between 2002 and 2015, at a cost of $7.2 billion.
“As a result, the system has operated reliably, and the New England system has experienced dramatically reduced congestion,” the ISO said. “The region has reached a turning point in addressing several key challenges to system reliability.”
The ISO said energy efficiency is expected to drive a reduction in the 10-year gross winter peak demand growth rate from 0.7% to a net annual value of −0.1%. The flat growth of the net peak load will help mitigate winter reliability concerns, the grid operator said. Assuming a normal winter, peak winter demand in the 2024-2025 season will be under 21,000 MW, and about 21,500 MW assuming a very cold winter.
Passive demand resources and energy efficiency in the ISO is expected to grow from 1,685 MW in 2015 to 3,579 MW in 2024, and the New England states’ annual investments in these programs are expected to be approximately $1 billion per year for 2015 through 2024.