The Variable Resource Working Group (VRWG) reports to the Markets Committee (MC), the Reliability Committee (RC), and the Transmission Committee (TC), providing input on issues related to variable resources in New England.
For more details on the working group, see the VRWG’s charter.
Variable resources are electricity producers whose output amount and availability can vary due to the nature of fuel being used—for example, wind, solar, or run-of-river hydro. Wind and solar energy in particular have been expanding dramatically in New England. With zero emissions and no fuel costs, these resources can help achieve federal and state environmental goals.
However, these types of resources have different operating characteristics than traditional power plants. So, the reliable large-scale integration of variable resources presents challenges for grid planning and operation. For example:
Accommodating a high percentage of variable resources will require wide-ranging changes across the transmission system, grid operations, markets, and system planning. To learn more, see the ISO’s annual report, the Regional Electricity Outlook.