F&ES at the ISO New England Facility!
Interested in the electric industry? Fifteen students from the F&ES course, “Electric Utilities: An Industry in Transition,” trekked north to visit the ISO New England (ISO-NE) facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts. ISO-NE oversees the operation of New England’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines. The visit allowed students to learn more about New England power prices and the current condition of energy supply in the region. Stephen J. Rourke, the Vice President of Systems Planning, and Molly Connors, the External Affairs Representative, provided students with a personal tour and presentation regarding ISO-NE. Students learned about load forecasting, emergency preparedness responses, and regional solar and wind generation.
Afterwards, students were able to see the ISO New England control room which houses operators that can shut down the grid in case of emergencies.
Jonathan Black, Manager of Load Forecasting, joined the group to provide further information on renewable energy sources. He informed students of the current research conducted by the utility to try and determine the full capacity of solar in New England. He also provided information on ISO-NE’s response to the rise of solar power in the region.
The trip was perfect in illustrating a potential career path for student, providing a real-world learning opportunity, and showing the relevance of class discussions and topics. The ISO facility staff was exceptionally kind and thorough and answered all types of questions raised by students from how they plan on dealing with renewable energy sources to their net metering policy. Also, the 3 hours of road tripping allowed for students to bond over electric utilities and the beautiful fall weather.