Modernizing the Grid – Concepts and News

Technical Concepts

Effective Load Carrying Capability (ELCC)
Calculating ELCC values requires probabilistic grid modeling. The process involves running many different simulations where important variables like electricity load and renewable generation vary randomly in each simulation. In this way, a grid operator can accurately assign capacity value to renewable resources.


» Pathways Study
Evaluation of Pathways to a Future Grid
By Analysis Group, Inc for ISO-New England
February, 2022

» RESPECT (Reforming Energy System Planning for Equity and Climate Transformation)
Electric and natural gas (or, more accurately, fossil gas) utilities, and the distribution systems they own and operate, function under outdated incentives and approaches and are misaligned with efforts to build an equitable and safe clean energy future.
By Amy Boyd and Oliver Tully, Acadia Center
November 2021


» US smart meter penetration continues steady growth, tops 100M in operation: FERC
For the fourth consecutive year the number of advanced meters installed on the United States electric grid increased by approximately 8 million.
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
December 21, 2022

» As California guts solar net metering, batteries emerge as a moneymaker
Rooftop solar alone will earn less under new California policy, but firms are developing programs to make it lucrative to add home batteries that help the grid.
By Jeff St. John, Canary Media
December 13, 2022

» Ratepayers Stage a Ballroom Coup
December 1, 2022

» Vehicle-To-Grid Solutions Could Open Fast Lane To Net-Zero Future
By Tim Tyler, Clean Technica
November 30, 2022

» Solar-powered microgrids add climate resilience in rural Vermont communities
Green Mountain Power’s new “resiliency zone” initiative is using outage and other data to pinpoint places in need of local grid upgrades. Its first projects consist of microgrids that will power remote villages during outages.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
November 30, 2022

» Our Regional Grid Operator Misleads New Englanders, Once Again
A recent piece by Anne George, Vice President of Public Relations for ISO-New England, calls CLF’s critiques baseless. Here’s why she’s wrong.
By Phelps Turner, CLF
November 2, 2022

» New England’s electric grid operator opened its doors to public participation — and got a dressing down
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
November 1, 2022

» ISO-NE Gets an Earful at its First Public Board Meeting
By Sam Mintz, RTO Insider
November 1, 2022

» National Grid, DOE panelists call for ‘grid-enhancing technologies’ to quickly boost transmission capacity
WIRES conference participants also see need for “rightsizing” transmission projects to meet future needs.
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
October 28, 2022

» No more excuses: New England’s power grid operator needs to bring renewables online
But if history is any guide, we shouldn’t hold our breath for ISO-New England to take climate change seriously.
By Bradley Campbell, Boston Globe | Opinion
October 17, 2022
Bradley Campbell is president and CEO of the Conservation Law Foundation.

» FERC, state utility regulators, and the arsonist’s dilemma
State and federal officials have saturated power markets with unworkable policies and are now openly lamenting the inability of those markets to deliver the results they expect.
By Todd Snitchler, Utility Dive | Opinion
October 3, 2022
Todd Snitchler is president and CEO of the Electric Power Supply Association, which represents America’s competitive power suppliers.

» Trouble brewing in the power grid as officials warn of possible electricity shortages in N.E. this winter
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
September 27, 2022

» FERC commissioners pursue market, non-market answers to ISO-NE’s ‘dire’ winter reliability risks
“The region is still heavily reliant on [liquefied natural gas] imports, and that’s just not sustainable,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick said.
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
September 23, 2022

» This New England utility will soon pay EV owners to help to back up the grid
The New Hampshire Electric Co-op is testing a “transactive” energy rate that pays owners of electric vehicles and battery storage systems for discharging power back onto the grid during periods of high demand
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
September 7, 2022

» Building a zero emissions grid in US in just 13 years would save $US1.2 trillion
By Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy
September 4, 2022

» Grid operator, utilities call for energy reserve
Also say Everett LNG facility should remain open beyond June 2024
By Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine
August 29, 2022

» Why the energy transition broke the U.S. interconnection system
The same processes that created the U.S. power system may now be preventing its transition to clean generation.
By Emma Penrod, Utility Dive
August 22, 2022

» This utility keeps customers cool during heat waves while saving them money
Vermont’s Green Mountain Power helped thousands of customers get home batteries. Now it taps them at peak times to prevent high costs and grid outages.
By Julian Spector, Canary Media
August 11, 2022

» Massachusetts is getting hotter. Our electricity system is not prepared.
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
August 3, 2022

» Reserve margin may need to rise to 300% by 2040 as more renewables added to grid: ISO New England
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
August 2, 2022

» How to move more power with the transmission lines we already have
Grid-enhancing technologies enable us to get more out of existing power lines. Here’s an in-depth look at one such technology: dynamic line rating.
By Jeff St. John, Canary Media
July 29, 2022

» Connecticut calls on utilities to evaluate non-wires alternatives
By Lisa Cohn, Microgrid Knowledge
July 22, 2022

» This Virtual Power Plant Is Trying to Tackle a Housing Crisis and an Energy Crisis All at Once
A Bay Area project combines subsidized housing with solar and battery systems that work together to support the larger grid.
By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
July 7, 2022

» Upheaval in utility regulation emerging nationally as Hawaii proves a performance-based approach
Plans to reward utilities for what they do, not what they spend, are moving ahead in 13+ states
By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive
July 5, 2022

» FERC investigates Massachusetts generator, ISO New England over alleged capacity payment scheme
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
June 27, 2022

» FERC proposes ‘first-ready, first-served’ interconnection rules to help spur new generation, storage
The federal agency also proposed extreme weather grid reliability requirements and reports from transmission providers on extreme weather assessments.
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
June 17, 2022

» Greenlit powerlines forecast Wyoming wind energy boom
Developers are poised to double Wyoming’s wind energy capacity, replacing coal as the state’s top source of electrical generation.
By Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile, in Energy News Network
June 3, 2022

» DOE launches grid interconnection initiative to cut ‘gridlock’ hampering clean energy progress
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
June 2, 2022

» Russian missile strikes Ukraine solar farm, solar farm powers on
By Sophie Vorrath, Renew Economy
May 31, 2022

» Federal regulators uphold controversial grid proposal that could slow clean energy
A plan by the region’s energy grid operator would encourage the development of major wind and solar projects, legislators and advocates say, but not for another two years — effectively slowing the pace of clean energy at precisely the time when it needs to grow.
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
May 31, 2022

» FERC approves ISO-NE plan to end MOPR in 2025 while accepting some renewables in capacity auctions
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
May 31, 2022 (updated April 4, 2022 article)

» Feds approve plan to delay scrapping a New England energy rule that harms renewables
By Miriam Wasser, WBUR
May 28, 2022

» Study lays out options for New England grid operator to help cut emissions
Critics say the regional grid operator has been slow to respond to states’ emission reduction goals, and that reforms are needed to help emerging clean energy resources compete in its electricity markets.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network
May 23, 2022

» ‘More, more, more’: Biden’s clean grid hinges on power lines
By Peter Behr, E&E News
May 23, 2022

» How California can get to a reliable, 85% clean grid by 2030
A new report finds that more offshore wind and geothermal power could reduce risks of overreliance on massive solar and battery growth to meet state goals.
By Jeff St. John, Canary Media
May 10, 2022

» New England grid operator moves to delay reform of rule favoring fossil fuels
The minimum offer price rule makes it harder for subsidized renewables to compete in ISO-New England’s capacity markets. A stakeholder group endorsed getting rid of the rule next year, but the grid operator now wants to push back the change to 2025.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
May 2, 2022

» Challenging the status quo on electricity, heating
Conservation Law Foundation officials call for change
By Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine
April 25, 2022

» FERC unveils transmission plan seen as key for renewables
By Miranda Willson, E&E News
April 22, 2022

» Sen. Edward Markey to stand on steps of ISO New England to protest proposal to slow incorporation of more green energy into market
By Noah R. Bombard, MassLive
April 14, 2022

» Grid operator urges slower transition on renewables
Seeks approval from FERC for 2-year extension of pricing rule
By Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine
April 5, 2022

» How a smarter grid can prevent blackouts
By Peter Behr, E&E News
March 16, 2022

» ISO-NE’s market rules biased toward gas plants, renewable energy groups say in FERC complaint
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
March 16, 2022

» Grid operators’ ‘seam’ study paves way for renewable expansion
A new study shows how strategically sited transmission projects can unleash a wave of new clean energy generation.
By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News, in Energy News Network
March 5, 2022

» The future is now: Doubling down on fossil fuels is not the solution to New England’s energy needs
By Joe Curtatone, Utility Dive | Opinion
March 1, 2022
Joe Curtatone is president of the Northeast Clean Energy Council

» How PJM’s ‘fat market’ for capacity fuels environmental injustice and consumer expense
By Liz Stanton and Joshua Castigliego, Utility Dive | Opinion
February 24, 2022

» UK’s National Grid to get grid stability services from renewables for first time
By Reuters
February 14, 2022

» State policymakers, candidates and advocates decry controversial energy grid vote
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
February 11, 2022

» A decision made behind closed doors may set clean energy back by two years
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
February 5, 2022

» Distributed energy is poised to take center stage in 2022, but policymakers and regulators must step up
By Ben Hertz-Shargel, Utility Dive
February 4, 2022

» Why Massachusetts is in a bind on emissions goals
ISO-NE needs to change its rules and stop creating barriers that lock out renewable energy.
By Bradley Campbell and Stephan Roundtree, Boston Globe | Opinion
June 25, 2021

» Grid operator should stop crying wolf
It’s time to step up on climate or get out of the way
By Bradley M. Campbell, CommonWealth Magazine | Opinion
February 3, 2022
Bradley Campbell is president of Conservation Law Foundation.

» Overwhelmed by Solar Projects, the Nation’s Largest Grid Operator Seeks a Two-Year Pause on Approvals
“It’s a kink in the system,” says one developer trying to bring solar jobs to coal country. “The planet does not have time for a delay.”
By James Bruggers, Inside Climate News
February 2, 2022

» Breakthroughs in generation and system integration are driving the utility of the future, analysts say
The new technologies will reverse the supply-demand equation and bring competitive procurement and a transaction platform to merge the bulk power and distribution systems.
By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive
January 31, 2022

» Opponents appeal East Boston substation’s waterfront license
By Walter Wuthmann, WBUR
January 27, 2022

» Biden administration announces major new initiatives to clean up the electric grid
Federal agencies announced plans to open up public lands and waters and lay new transmission lines
By Justine Calma, The Verge
January 12, 2022

» US smart meter penetration hits 65%, expanding utility demand response resources: analysts
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
December 21, 2021

» The Magic Math of Solar plus Storage
By Joseph Daniel, Union of Concerned Scientists | Blog
November 29, 2021

» To Understand Energy Storage, You Must Understand ELCC
By Mark Specht, Union of Concerned Scientists | Blog
June 14, 2021

» ELCC Explained: the Critical Renewable Energy Concept You’ve Never Heard Of
By Mark Specht, Union of Concerned Scientists | Blog
October 12, 2020

» Technical Information Session: Resource Capacity Contributions to Resource Adequacy
By ISO New England
August 20, 2021
This document shows that ISO-NE is exploring ELCC as a modeling tool.


» US smart meter penetration hits 65%, expanding utility demand response resources: analysts
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
December 21, 2021

» Democrats’ infrastructure bills don’t go far enough on cleaning up the power grid
A clean grid is the linchpin of any plan to tackle climate change
By Justine Calma, The Verge
November 3, 2021

» Boosting transmission between East, West grids will lower costs: NREL
By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive
October 19, 2021

» PPL makes ‘small’ investment to gain insight into ‘innovative’ $2.5B SOO Green transmission project
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
September 27, 2021

» From smart meters to big batteries, co-ops emerge as clean grid laboratories
A wave of pilot programs by Minnesota electric cooperatives is saving customers money and providing useful data for larger utilities considering new technology and pricing models to encourage grid efficiency.
By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network
August 26, 2021

» Cost allocation remains key challenge for FERC ahead of transmission reform, Glick says
By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive
July 20, 2021

» US grid needs overhaul to keep up with renewable revolution, says GE exec, Sen. Heinrich
By Scott Voorhis, Utility Dive
June 22, 2021

» New England states push for governance changes in ISO-NE, ahead of anticipated MOPR reform
To quell state frustrations, regulators say conversations will have to move beyond reforming the controversial minimum price rule.
By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive
June 7, 2021

» Advocates say Maine needs to expand time-of-use rates to hit climate goals
As more drivers switch to electric cars and buildings convert to heat pumps, changing customer behavior with new rate designs could be key to preventing expensive and polluting new investments in the state’s power grid.
By David Thill, Energy News Network
May 27, 2021