- Feb 25, 2020 3:51 pm GMT
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ISO New England released a presentation on 2/20/2019 by CEO Gordon van Welie addressing the challenges introduced by the energy transition on wholesale markets in New England. The presentation does an excellent job at capturing many of the factors that must be considered in the search for a feasible solution going forward this decade. One area where ISO New England's understanding is a bit off-base, IMO, regards the objectives for a feasible solution. Based on my own research into the issues with the current capacity market, ISO New England is taking a far too narrow view of the objectives, as stated in bullet 1 on slide 30. Where ISO-NE sees the very narrow objective "carbon reduction", I see the much broader objective "achieve State Energy Goals". It's true that carbon reduction/elimination by a stated date is indeed a stated Energy Goal of some New England States, that is not the case for all New England States. Some States have expressed different goals, for example Vermont had a goal to be nuclear free, which resulted in the closure of Vermont Yankee. Some States may wish to incentivize specific forms of energy generation, such as wave power, not because it's "carbon free" but for some other objective they wish to achieve. It's true that the "main objective" appearing on the radar today is "carbon reduction", however the real objective, IMO, is more appropriately framed as "State Energy Goals" - however they are defined - that's what the new market based solution needs to achieve. Perhaps ISO New England will consider the more expanded objective suggested and change bullet 1 to read: "A stakeholder-led process is underway in the region to consider the future of the wholesale markets. As we understand it, the primary question is how best to harmonize the achievement of three objectives:
carbon reduction, reliable electric service for all New Englanders and the achievement of individual State Energy Goals, using markets to select the lowest-priced resources"
I believe this would give States what they seem to be asking for from the energy transition.