ISO-NE Sees Flat Load Growth, More Solar and Wind
BOSTON – ISO-NE’s draft Regional System Plan shows flat load growth through 2024 due to growing solar PV and energy efficiency but predicts challenges from generation retirements and integration of variable resources.
The plan, released at a presentation last week, also cites eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island as having the greatest need for new generation.
Load is growing annually at about 1.3%, said Michael Henderson, director, regional planning and coordination for ISO-NE. “But you subtract photovoltaics and energy efficiency, it comes down to about 0.6%,” he said.
The net summer peak average forecast is 26,565 MW for 2015, which grows to 27,875 MW for 2024. Winter load is slowly growing, but that peak is at night, when PV is of no help.
‘Tremendous’ Renewable Potential
The study says the region has “tremendous potential” for renewable energy, but it requires additional transmission, revisions to interconnection requirements and improved forecasting to ease their integration.
The region had 908 MW of solar capacity (nameplate rating) at the end of 2014, which is expected to grow to 2,449 MW over the next decade.
“As these [interconnection] improvements are made, it can only act to promote distributed resources because they will then be interconnected in a more reliable way and the overall system will be more tolerant of distributed resources,” Henderson said.