More renewable energy could be incorporated into New York State’s electrical grid, according to the New York Independent System Operator’s (ISO) January 2017 Report. The Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap (DER) describes an initiative to incorporate more small renewable energy plants into the grid, instead of supplying the market from a handful of centralized power sources.
Incorporating renewable sources advances New York’s climate goals toward the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, and helps reduce energy costs during peak demand periods. The New York ISO supplies energy in real time based on demand predictions made the previous day, based on past consumption data.
When the estimation is low, the state has to quickly incorporate energy from “peaker plants” into the grid so demand is met at all times. Per unit, the peaker plants’ energy releases the most greenhouse gas emissions and is the most expensive. The ISO could make up for these incurred costs by using renewable sources instead of peaker plants during peak demand. However, New York’s grid must be connected to more renewable sources to begin with.
The New York ISO plans to launch a pilot program in late 2017. Before this sort of strategy can be fully implemented, the ISO must create appropriate software, explore specifications in law, and develop granular pricing across the energy market. Those projects will occur throughout 2018-2021.
Incorporating renewable sources is one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; others include improving energy storage and reducing energy demand. The state has initiatives in those areas as well, so the DER is one component in the holistic endeavor for New York to meet its climate goals.