New York’s rooftops could provide up to 37.4 percent of the Empire State’s electric needs. That’s one of the findings from a new solar integration study by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which manages the electric grid in the state. However, the study also observed that the state’s transmission grid will have to change to accommodate the increases in renewable energy from solar and wind.
A National Renewable Energy Laboratory report found that New York could get up to 4,500 megawatts of electric generation from wind and 9,000 megawatts of electric generation from solar. The new report, Solar Impact on Grid Operations – An Initial Assessment, showed that yes the state’s electric grid can handle the higher concentrations of variable, renewable energy from wind and solar power.
The study comes at the right time. Earlier this year Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that under the state’s clean energy standard, the state will source 50 percent of its electric from renewables like wind and solar and other clean energy sources by 2030. As such development of both wind and solar power are likely to go up in the state.
“As the penetration levels of solar PV and wind increase, any projected increases in regulation requirements are relatively minor and can readily be accommodated within the current market rules, transmission system operations, and generation resource mix,” the study observed in its executive summary. However, the study noted that its finding is based on the state’s current electric generation and if the state’s energy generation changes the grid’s ability to handle the additional power may also change. “It is, therefore, recommended that the NYISO continue to track solar PV and wind penetration levels and the capability of its generation fleet to provide such services in order to assess and make adjustments, as appropriate.”
The study made other important observations as well. “The large-scale implementation of behind-the-meter solar PV [i.e., rooftop solar] will impact the NYISO’s load profile and associated system operations. Although such impacts may be mitigated to a degree and at some future date by the implementation of on-site electric storage technologies, it is recommended that the NYISO take action now to incorporate in its control room operations and markets real-time and day-ahead forecasts of solar PV output as soon as practicable.”Tweet