ISO-NE files info on 2022-2023 capacity market auction

Friday, November 9, 2018

This week the operator of New England's wholesale electricity markets made a series of filings with its federal regulator providing information on its upcoming thirteenth forward capacity auction, through which electric generators may commit to providing electric capacity during the period from June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023.

ISO New England Inc. is the independent system operator and wholesale market-maker for most of New England's electricity grid. It is a private, not-for-profit entity, which operates pursuant to a tariff on file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As part of its planning for system operations, ISO-NE operates a forward capacity market through which it conducts annual auctions through which qualified generators and other resources may bid to obtain commitments to provide capacity in a future year, in exchange for which resources will be compensated. The next primary auction for capacity supply obligations will be Forward Capacity Auction 13 (or FCA 13), which will be held beginning on February 4, 2019, and will cover the 2022-2023 capacity commitment period.

In advance of each primary auction, ISO-NE calculates an "Installed Capacity Requirement," which it defines as a measure of the installed resources that are projected to be necessary 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. In computing the Installed Capacity Requirement, the grid operator considers parameters and assumptions including load forecast, resource capacity ratings, and resource availability. It also considers what relief can be obtained during a capacity deficiency through measures including emergency assistance (tie benefits) from neighboring interconnected regions (New Brunswick, New York, and Quebec), load reduction by reducing system voltage by 5%, and running the system at a minimal level of operating reserve.
In its November 6 Installed Capacity Requirement filing, the grid operator told the Commission that it proposed a installed capacity requirement for FCA 13 of 33,750 megawatts, after taking into account 969 megawatts of credits over interconnection with Canadian utility Hydro-Quebec.

In a parallel Informational Filing for qualification in FCA 13, the grid operator noted that 31,432 megawatts of existing generating capacity resources qualified for the 2022-2023 capacity commitment period, as did 80 megawatts of existing import capacity resources, and 3,413 megawatts of existing demand capacity resources, totaling 34,925 megawatts of existing capacity. Some resources submitted bids to retire, and 3,223 megawatts of resources submitted bids to withdraw in part or in whole from the auction if it clears below a defined price. Additionally, ISO-NE qualified 238 new capacity resources, totaling 8,716 megawatts.

ISO-NE will conduct its thirteenth forward capacity auction starting on February 4, 2019.

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