Winter 2018/19 Operations Mostly Uneventful
Emilie Nelson, ISO vice president of operations, told the Management Committee that there were two noteworthy periods of cold conditions this winter.
The first cold wave produced the winter peak of 24,728 MW on Jan. 21 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — topping the 24,330-MW 90/10 day-ahead forecast. In advance of the holiday weekend, NYISO coordinated with transmission owners and neighboring RTOs, and participated in calls with the Northeast Power Coordinating Council. The ISO also recalled some New York transmission facilities back into service, she said.
The second cold period began when an arctic front arrived Jan. 30 and stretched into Feb. 2.
“The ISO’s fuel survey inventories indicated sufficient alternate fuels, so again we appreciate that process,” Nelson said. She noted there was no need for statewide supplemental capacity commitments, demand response, emergency actions such as voltage reduction or public appeals, or emergency energy purchases from neighboring regions.
The New York Control Area’s transmission infrastructure provided excellent performance, she said.
Interstate and local natural gas pipelines all remained in service, though they issued many gas alerts, daily and hourly operational flow orders (OFOs), and notices signaling that interruptible gas customers may not be able to get gas.
“Even with relatively few cold days, New York experienced a high number of OFO conditions this season, which may become more prevalent and constraining at higher temperatures than compared to the past,” Nelson said.
She pointed out the record amounts of LNG shipped this winter, with the Northeast Gateway Deepwater terminal hitting a record sendout flow rate of more than 800,000 MMBtu/day on Feb. 1, while Canaport and Everett LNG also saw high levels of imports this season.
Fuel assurance will continue to be important, highlighting the significance of NYISO’s ongoing fuel and energy security project, Nelson said.
Increasing Board Compensation
Interim CEO Rob Fernandez said NYISO is proposing to raise compensation for its Board of Directors in order to remain competitive in recruiting members.
Under the proposal, the annual retainer for each board member would increase to $65,000 from $55,000, while compensation for attending meetings would rise to $3,500 from $3,000 per meeting. Directors would also earn a flat fee of $5,000 per committee meeting day, which typically entails three or four meetings, compared with the current compensation of $2,000 per committee meeting.
Fernandez asked stakeholders to provide comments by April 5.
ISO Customer Satisfaction Improves
NYISO last year scored an “extraordinarily high” 90% in overall satisfaction among its customers and market participants, said Don Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute, which conducted the member surveys.
“We’re sort of on the outside end of a satisfaction bell curve, so it is challenging to keep moving it up, but this year we did see it move up a point,” Levy said.
The survey comprised three platforms: customer inquiry, market participants and CEO strategic outreach.
Levy said areas for improvement identified in the surveys included how the ISO explains policies and procedures; transparent operations; considerations of individuals’ input; conducting comprehensive long-term grid planning; advancing technological infrastructure; and providing information to policymakers, stakeholders and investors.
“We will note that, in terms of transparency, we have seen significant improvements over the year,” Levy said.
New Zone J Operating Reserves Go to Board
The MC approved establishing operating reserve demand curves that assign a $25/MWh value to the proposed reserve requirements for Zone J (New York City), following a recommendation by the Business Issues Committee. (See NYISO Business Issues Committee Briefs: March 13, 2019.)
Ashley Ferrer, NYISO energy market design specialist, reiterated her presentation to the BIC showing that the requirements would necessitate procuring 500 MW of 10-minute reserves and 1,000 MW of 30-minute reserves.
NYISO is not proposing to revise the Zone J requirement during Thunderstorm Alert (TSA) events in order to ensure implementation for June. However, Ferrer said that, absent further evaluation of the appropriate reserve requirements during TSA events, use of a $500/MWh demand curve price could result in unnecessarily high pricing outcomes during those events.
TSAs are called when actual or anticipated severe weather conditions lead the ISO to reduce transmission limits into Southeast New York.
The ISO will submit the proposal to the board in April and file Tariff revisions with FERC seeking approval to implement them in June.
Tariff Revisions Clarify TCC Credit Calculation
The MC approved Tariff revisions to clarify how to calculate the holding requirement for historic fixed-price transmission congestion contracts (HFPTCCs) that do not align with the beginning of a capability period by using proposed enhancements previously approved by stakeholders.
Sheri Prevratil, NYISO’s manager of corporate credit, said three HFPTCCs have start dates that do not match the first day of a capability period. The ISO identified the issue while developing software to use the market clearing price to calculate the credit requirement for fixed-price TCCs.
“The [proposed] methodology is consistent with the current methodology,” Prevratil said.
— Michael Kuser