Economic recovery will involve building a smarter, greener, more efficient electric grid, Steven G. Whitley, president and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), recently told a gathering of government, industry and academic leaders in Albany, N.Y.
In his opening remarks to a NYISO-sponsored symposium, ‘Planning the Sustainable Grid of the Future,’ Whitley noted that a variety of factors would affect the nature of the economic recovery, including state and federal policies promoting energy efficiency, new technologies, increased use of renewable energy and expanded environmental regulation of power production.
The impact of the recession on electricity demand included a nationwide 4.2% decline in 2009 – the biggest single-year decline in 60 years. In New York state, the reduction in power demand was almost identical to the national average – a 4.1% decline, according to the NYISO.
As New York and the nation emerge from the recession, government policies and programs encouraging energy efficiency and conservation are expected to moderate the growth of electricity demand.
A growing portion of the power supplied to New Yorkers will be produced by renewable resources, such as wind. New York state's ’45 x 15′ energy strategy aims to increase renewable power production and have it account for 30% of New York's total electricity supply, while also reducing consumption by 15% of forecast levels by 2015.
Whitley said that New York's marketplace for electricity also provides incentives for the growth of green power and that the NYISO has taken steps such as pioneering a centralized wind forecasting system, becoming the first independent system operator/regional transmission organization to integrate wind power in economic dispatch and developing new market rules to encourage the development of energy-storage technologies.