NYISO Launches New Solar Study

New York Grid Operator to Evaluate Growing Impact of Sun-Powered Generation

RENSSELAER, NY (06/01/2015)(readMedia)-- With the use of renewable energy developing at a rapid pace, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) announced it will study the potential for growth in solar power resources to determine their impact on grid operations over the next 15 years.

While distributed energy resources include a wide range of technologies and systems, customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) is among the fastest growing segments. The New York State government initiative NY-Sun calls for the installation of more than 3,000 megawatts (MW) of customer-sited solar capacity by 2023. Under that program the state will fund approximately $150 million annually for solar PV projects.

This "behind the meter" growth in solar use-in which residents consume energy from their own source, instead of from the grid-will likely affect load forecasts, regulation requirements, and other grid operations.

"We are conducting this study as part of our rigorous planning activities so that we are prepared for the potential impact solar resources will have on the grid, its reliability, and its resources," said NYISO President and CEO Steve Whitley.

The NY-Sun Initiative has reported that more than 300 MW of customer-sited PV was installed or under contract after the first two years of the program.

"Integrating new resources in a thoughtful, diligent process helps ensure that real-time operations continue seamlessly, and furthers our commitment to reliability," said Whitley. "The NYISO already has met with success in integrating wind power sources and we intend to be equally successful integrating solar PV."

The solar study will focus on the following objectives:

• Develop and test solar forecasting tools and prepare 15-year forecasts of solar PV megawatts for each of the 11 load zones in New York State.

• Research the experiences of other independent system operators and regional transmission organizations in addressing solar PV integration.

• Evaluate solar generation variability and its impact on customer load served by the NYS electric systems.

• Review operational impacts of various levels of solar and wind resources.

The report is expected to be released later this year.