New York’s Ambitious Transitions: Who Wins? Who Loses? Who Knows?
New York’s electricity system and markets face a blizzard of changes, driven by policy, politics, and economic forces. The New York Independent System Operator and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority are two key—and sometimes competing—players trying to make sense and order of the policy storm.
Rubik’s Cube. The game of Twister. Electricity Tetris. A jigsaw puzzle in which all of the pieces may not fit and some may be missing. Those items are all about as difficult to solve as New York’s power conundrum. The Empire State faces a blizzard of market structure, policy, and generation changes—all taking place at once—in its electricity sector.
The central policy issue is powerful Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s revolutionary “Reforming the Energy Vision,” widely known among New York’s acronym-addicted energy mavens as REV. Following the chaos of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Cuomo set about creating a political response to change the way the state would look at and build its electrical supply and grid during the 21st century.
Among the institutions involved are the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), Cuomo’s New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC), New York’s six investor-owned utilities, the state-owned New York Power Authority (the largest state-owned electric utility in the U.S., created by Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1931 and a model for the federal Tennessee Valley Authority), the state’s nonutility generators, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, D.C. Whom did we miss?
Winds of Change at NYISO
NYISO, which runs the transmission grid and the competitive wholesale electricity market, and NYSERDA are the central forces trying to create order out of what so far appears to be a chaotic situation. It’s not clear that they see the future in exactly the same way, but they will have to work out the relationship if REV is to live.