ISO-NE Winter Reliability Program 2015 by the numbers

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The operator of New England's electric grid is running a special Winter Reliability Program to address fuel security and power system reliability concerns, relating largely to natural gas pipeline constraints.  A December 2015 presentation by ISO New England, Inc.'s CEO provides initial cost and participation data on this winter's program.

More than 45% — about 13,650 MW—of the total generating capacity in New England uses natural gas as its primary fuel.  Out of this gas-fired capacity, ISO-NE's Winter Outlook has identified 4,220 MW of natural gas-fired generation at risk of not being able to get fuel when needed due to constraints on interstate natural gas pipelines.

As in 2013 and 2014, in 2015 ISO-NE again proposed a Winter Reliability Program to address concerns over reliability.  The 2015-2016 program includes 4 main components: oil, LNG, demand response, and dual-fuel commissioning.  According to a December 2015 presentation to the NEPOOL Participants Committee, program participation and expected cost exposure breaks down as follows:

Oil Program
  • 81 units submitted intent to provide 4.464 million barrels
  • Total eligible oil is anticipated to be 2.965 million barrels
  • Total oil program cost exposure is anticipated to be $38.25M (@$12.90/barrel

LNG Program
  • 8 units submitted intent to provide at least 1.42 million MMBTU
  • Total eligible LNG is 1.278 million MMBTU
  • Total LNG program cost exposure is anticipated to be $2.75M (@$2.15/MMBTU

Demand Response Program
  • 7 assets submitted an intent to participate; 6 accepted by ISO-NE, to provide at least 26.5 MW of interruption capability
  • Total DR program cost exposure is anticipated to be $132K

Dual-fuel Commissioning Program
  •  6 units submitted intent to commission Dual Fuel Capability
    • 4 units for 2014/15 (1,039 MW)
    • 2 units for 2015/16 (735 MW)
  • Total additional winter seasonal claimed capability represented: 1,774 MW

ISO-NE will release additional information on actual 2015/2016 Winter Reliability Program operations and costs over the winter period.

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