By William Opalka
Returning and repowered generation resources and newly announced transmission upgrades appear to have alleviated NYISO’s concerns about system reliability over the next 10 years.
The NYISO Management Committee on Wednesday accepted staff’s Comprehensive Reliability Plan, which is the penultimate step in the 2014 Reliability Needs Assessment. The plan now moves on to the NYISO Board of Directors, which is expected to take action in July.
The report said that fears of generation shortages and transmission constraints raised last year appear to have been resolved over the past nine months. (See NYISO Sees Capacity Crunch by 2019; Tx Problems in 2015.)
It cites nearly 2,000 MW of generation capacity returning to service by 2016, including the mothballed 493-MW Danskammer Generating Station in Newburgh, which restarted in December after converting to natural gas, and the 435-MW Dunkirk plant near Buffalo, which is set to return in 2016 after a similar repowering.
“This 2014 CRP has determined that the New York bulk power system will meet all applicable reliability criteria over the 2015 through 2024 study period and confirms that the initially identified reliability needs in the 2014 RNA are resolved,” the report states. “The NYISO has concluded that there are sufficient resources such that the New York Control Area (NYCA) will be in compliance with the resource adequacy criterion for the 10-year study period.”
Previously identified transmission security violations will be resolved from 2018 through 2024 through reconductoring, a new substation near Rochester and returning generation. For example, the return of Dunkirk is expected to eliminate thermal violations in the Buffalo and Binghamton areas.
Transmission owners have agreed to use operating procedures — including the adjustment of phase angle regulators, use of special case resources and possible load shedding during summer peaks — to address violations until permanent solutions are complete.
The conclusions come with several caveats. The CRP is based on projected summer peak demand load growth averaging 0.83% annually through 2014 and assumes no new generation after 2017.
Risk factors include a lengthy loss of generation or higher load levels in upstate New York, including Rochester, Western and Central New York and the Capital Region, which the report says “could potentially lead to immediate and severe transmission security violations.”
“The projected NYCA capacity margins are narrow in the later years of the study; therefore, a small decrease in the existing resource capacity or an increase in loads by 2024 would result in [a loss-of-load expectation] violation in that year,” the report says.