ISO-NE files IRC-related values for 2019-2020

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In advance of an upcoming auction to sell electric generating capacity into the New England market, regional grid operator ISO New England Inc. has submitted key information about its plans to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ISO New England is the private, non-profit entity that serves as the regional transmission organization for New England.  In this role, ISO-NE plans and operates the New England bulk power system, administers New England’s organized wholesale electricity market, and has some responsibility over system reliability.  Reliability can be stated in terms of a loss of load expectation or “LOLE”, which measures how often non-interruptible customers are disconnected.

New England has adopted a capacity market as part of its wholesale electricity market structure.  One aspect of system reliability is ensuring sufficient generating capacity is available to meet consumer demand.  Pursuant to Section III.13 of the Tariff, the ISO administers periodic Forward Capacity Auctions, or FCAs, in order “to procure the amount of capacity needed in the New England Control Area.”

ISO-NE will hold its tenth Forward Capacity Auction in February 2016, covering the 2019-2020 Capacity Commitment Period.  To do so, ISO-NE must first identify how much generation will be needed to meet reliability standards in light of total forecasted load requirements for the New England Control Area and to maintain sufficient reserve capacity to meet reliability standards.  One key value characterizing this need is the "Installed Capacity Requirement" or ICR.  ICR refers to the amount of resources needed to meet the reliability requirements defined for the New England Control Area of disconnecting non-interruptible customers no more than once every ten years.  Under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act, ISO-NE files with the FERC proposed ICR-Related Values for the each auction.

On November 10, 2015, ISO New England submitted to the FERC its Installed Capacity Requirement, Local Sourcing Requirement for the Southeastern New England Capacity Zone, Hydro Quebec Interconnection Capability Credits, and Demand Curve Values for the 2019-2020 Capacity Commitment Period.  In that filing, ISO-NE proposed an Installed Capacity Requirement (net of certain credits for imports) of 34,151 MW.

ISO-NE noted that for the most part, this and other key values were calculated using the same Commission-approved methodology that has been used to calculate the values submitted and accepted for other recent Capacity Commitment Periods. One key difference for the tenth FCA is the inclusion of behind-the-meter photovoltaic (“PV”) resources that are not yet reflected in historical loads as a reduction in the load forecast. This change addresses a requirement imposed by the FERC in its January 2, 2015 Order accepting the Installed Capacity Requirement and related values for the ninth FCA.

ISO-NE asked FERC to accept the proposed ICR-Related Values for the tenth FCA to be effective on January 9, 2016 (i.e. 60 days after filing), to enable their use in the tenth FCA scheduled for February 2016.

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