The ISO/RTO Council has released a briefing paper on variable energy resources, system operations and wholesale markets. The paper looks at the efforts being made by independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) to integrate variable energy resources such as wind and solar power.
The variable nature of many renewable resources is prompting changes in market design and system operations, the council says. Although conventional electricity generating resources are relatively stable, schedulable and controllable, and markets and system operating procedures were originally designed around these characteristics, the need to effectively and reliably integrate variable resources has spurred the industry to develop new approaches, processes and tools.
‘As an industry, we are making great strides in harnessing the power of variable energy resources,’ says Paul Murphy, president and CEO of Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator and 2011-2012 chairman of the ISO/RTO Council. ‘Effectively integrating this new supply is a long-term process that requires us to refine our respective systems, modify our operating procedures, and make adjustments to our markets for energy, operating reserve and ancillary services.’