Excerpt from "Overheard at New York Renewable Energy Conference"
July 2, 2018 – RTO Insider (Michael Kuser)
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Artificial intelligence, transmission needs and markets versus mandates topped the discussion at the Renewable Energy Conference hosted by the Business Council of New York State, the Hudson Renewable Energy Institute and Marist College’s School of Management.
...Markets Versus Mandates
...Dennis Phayre, business development director for EnterSolar, a commercial and industrial solar developer based in New York City, said, “Most of the generation that’s going to need to get built in order to reach these goals is going to be utility-scale, and it’s going to be upstate, so the need for transmission does not go away with renewables.”
The intermittency of wind and solar has become much less unpredictable, with new tools like Watson allowing forecasts of output 24 — or even 48 — hours in advance with up to 97% accuracy, so the “problem” of intermittency has largely been solved, Phayre said.
“There’s certainly some tension between transmission and renewables, but there’s probably more complement than there is tension,” Phayre said. “The question is, what complementary value does on-site generation provide at the right locations?”
“There’s no doubt that transmission infrastructure is required, which is easier to say than do,” said Craig Orchant, managing partner of investment banking firm Ansonia Partners. “The challenge is, you really can’t invest money in power generation unless you know you can deliver it. Transmission is a huge requirement, and it’s been to a large degree unanswered, not just in New York state, but across the region, throughout New England and a lot of other places throughout the U.S. Horror stories you read in PJM in terms of how they’re trying to allocate transmission improvement charges to individual participants in the market is a good example.”
On the plus side, energy projects “have a tremendous amount of capital looking to go to work in them,” Orchant said. “The amount of money that has been raised, and the knowledge base of institutional capital to invest in this industry is really phenomenal. I’ve been doing this for 30 years … and there’s never been so much money looking to go to work.”