New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts

At-a-Glance:

To meet its zero-carbon energy goals, New York will require a complex mix of renewable resources. Grid operators around the world are busy these days, but few have quite as much on their minds as NYISO, the independent system operator that manages New York state’s bulk power system and wholesale energy market. NYISO’s recently released Power Trends 2020 report, which highlights the challenges and opportunities for a state’s electric grid in flux. To learn more and view the five charts, read “New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Figure 12 shows the massive gap between the current total renewable energy and nuclear energy production leaves NYISO more than half below the state’s 100% zero-emissions end-use goal.
  • New York’s goal for 3 gigawatts of energy storage by 2030 will be critical to storing and distributing wind and solar energy to meet demand, much of it needed downstate, according to the NYISO’s Resources Seeking Interconnection graphic.

  • In comparison, only 29 percent of downstate’s resources are from zero-carbon, which are mostly nuclear power plants while 88 percent of upstate New York is getting its electricity from hydropower and onshore wind power.

  • NYISO has been pushing for increased transmission to carry upstate clean energy to New York City and the surrounding area to reduce curtailment of wind power which is increasing without an upgrade in transmission infrastructure as indicated by figure 7.

  • NYISO is also using electric vehicle charging trends to project both peak times and the total load on the grid system through 2050.

Path to 100% Perspective:

The pandemic coupled with rising demand for renewable energy has caused many operators, like NYISO, to explore alternative paths to decarbonization. From carbon pricing to offshore wind to huge transmission projects, states must become more strategic about how they will meet their zero-carbon energy goals. These five charts from NYISO highlight the complexity of building a path to 100 percent renewable future.