Grid Professionals Group
The Grid Professionals Group covers electric current from its transmission step down to each customer's home.
Trip Report ISO New England Consumer Liaison Group Meeting Portsmouth NH
- Mar 31, 2023 2:47 pm GMT
Yesterday, REA’s Co-Founders attended the ISO New England Consumer Liaison Group (CLG) meeting in Portsmouth, NH. The venue was nice and the food never disappoints. Thank you, ISO New England for hosting this event.
The meeting began with the usual update provided by Anne George, VP External Affairs. A good bit of the presentation focused on FCA 17 outcomes, which is the first FCA auction to operate under the “new rules” transitioning away from MOPR. The ISO was able to acquire its “Installed Capacity Requirement” (ICR) amount of MW needed for the 2026-2027 commitment period. The MOPR replacement rules will continue to be applied in the next FCA auction, FCA 18 and will eventually be retired after the transition period concludes.
The other “hot topic” from Anne was Winter Storm Elliot, the Bomb Cyclone, where numerous power outages were experienced and ISO-NE operators were navigating around some unplanned generator outages. Anne pointed out the generator outages were not due to natural gas constraints; there was adequate natural gas supply to meet energy adequacy requirements. The primary cause of generator outages was linked to equipment failures. One astute observer in the audience pointed out the need for greater harmonization between gas and electric operations during extreme weather events. This opened the door for me to mention the good work underway in NAESB to produce a set of recommendations to improve gas/electric operations, especially during extreme weather events, such as Storm URI and Storm Elliot. NAESB’s recommendations are expected to be published in 2023.
The meeting concluded with a panel discussion on the energy transition with a cross section of panelists with varying stakeholder interests, including ISO New England, which was proficiently represented by Dr. Bob Ethier, VP System Planning. In responding to some questions Bob had to remind the audience that ISO New England operates independently from all stakeholders and has no ownership stake or vested interests in any grid assets or market participants. ISO New England is responsible, first and foremost, for grid reliability and serves as the facilitator, and operator of markets, i.e., Energy and Capacity. I got the distinct impression that some audience members thought ISO-NE serves in an authoritative role; Bob pointed out that ISO-NE is an objective, independent operator with no vested interest in any technology or grid assets. I concur with Bob’s response, having served 14 years at ISO New England and the FCM Market Clearing Engine Software Architect in 2009. Each panelist was given 10 minutes to present their positions and then the floor was opened for questions. I became concerned when the first speaker, a member of the NH House of Representatives, spoke for 30 minutes, “borrowing” time from other panelists, only to say he wanted to see an “energy transition plan”, which is not how this works under a market based energy system. The market will decide how the energy transition unfolds, with some “guidance” from regulators.
It was great to see many “old” friends and colleagues from ISO New England. I made a formal offer to present the “Always on Capacity Exchange” (AOCE) capacity market concept to the System Planning Group. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to present AOCE to ISO-NE before the June 20 FERC open meeting in Portland, Maine.
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