Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Bit of Good Green Energy News for Your Holidays, Courtesy of New England

High voltage power lines (Credit: Shutterstock) Click to Enlarge.
ISO-NE, as the nerds call it, is the nonprofit organization that administers the New England grid and its wholesale power market.  It is responsible for making sure that supply (generation) matches demand (load) at all times; it tells all the 82 large generators in its territory when to put electricity on the grid and when not to.  Every hour, generators “bid in” to the wholesale market and the ISO draws from the cheapest power first.

Two exciting bits of news out of ISO-NE, both brought to us by Jerry Elmer of the Conservation Law Foundation.

First, the ISO is busy at work making renewables dispatchable.  Of course it can’t make the wind blow or the sun shine.  But to an ISO, “dispatchable” has a specific technical and legal meaning.  It needs the generator to be in constant electronic communication with the ISO control room. (Check.)  It needs reliable five-minute-ahead forecasts for wind strength and sun intensity. (Check.)  And it needs algorithms that will enable it to dispatch renewables when circumstances line up. (In the works, due some time next year for wind and hydro, the year after for solar.)

There’s lots of technical detail about what it means for renewables to be “within dispatch,” but I won’t burden you.  The main takeaway is that ISO-NE is soon going to treat wind, hydro, and solar as dispatchable resources, which will make them much more competitive in New England wholesale power markets.

Second, as of earlier this month, ISO-NE is for the first time permitting what’s called “negative price offers.”  This one requires a bit of explanation.

Read more at A Bit of Good Green Energy News for Your Holidays, Courtesy of New England

No comments:

Post a Comment