Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, October 2017

The average wholesale electricity price rose in October, while October energy use was fifth-lowest monthly total since 2000

Higher natural gas prices were a factor in driving up the monthly average price for wholesale electricity in October by 40%, to $31.71 per megawatt-hour (MWh)*, over the October 2016 price of $22.72/MWh. Another factor contributing to higher average power prices was seasonal maintenance that took thousands of megawatts of generation out of service during the month, resulting in tight system conditions at times. Spring and fall are called the “shoulder” seasons, due to lighter consumer demand for power when weather is mild. Because demand is lower, transmission equipment and power plants are often taken out of service during the shoulder months for routine maintenance and repairs so the equipment is ready and available to handle higher demand during summer and winter.

While energy usage is typically lower during shoulder months like October, last month stood out. Total energy consumption during October 2017 was the fifth-lowest of any month since January 2000, and the lowest during any October since 2000. October 2017 was also the warmest on record since 1895 in New England, a likely contributor to lower demand. Further, an intense storm arrived at the end of the month, resulting in New England-wide outages affecting as many as 1.3 million customers, lasting several days in some areas.

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As ovens heat up on Thanksgiving Day, so does electricity demand

For many around New England, the ritual is the same: Wake up early on Thanksgiving morning and start prepping dinner, firing up ovens for turkeys, stuffing and pies. The holiday brings a lot more activity than a typical fall Thursday morning and also changes the way ISO New England plans for the region’s energy use that day.

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ISO-NE CEO addresses regional conferences 

ISO New England’s President and CEO Gordon van Welie hit the road this week, keynoting a pair of conferences in the region and updating audiences on the state of New England’s power system.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, van Welie addressed the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association’s (NECA) 2017 Power Markets Conference in Marlborough, Mass. See van Welie's presentation from the conference.

Later in the week, he then traveled south to provide the keynote address at The Energy Council of Rhode Island’s (TEC RI) Energy Reliability and Affordability in New England Forum in Cranston, Rhode Island. See van Welie's presentation from the forum.


Register today! FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee to keynote the December 7 CLG meeting

The final New England Consumer Liaison Group (CLG) meeting of 2017 takes place on December 7, 2017, from noon-4:00 p.m. at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee will give the keynote address. A panel will discuss The Future of Energy Storage in New England: What it Means for Customers. Panelists include: Christopher Parent, Director, Market Development, ISO New England; Judith Judson, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources; Lewis Milford, President, Clean Energy Group; and Ted Ko, Director of Policy, Stem, Inc. Register today!



ISO-NE issues power system plan for New England

ISO New England Inc. has issued its 2017 Regional System Plan (RSP17), the biennial report that provides the foundation for long-term power-system planning in New England. RSP17 was approved by the ISO New England board of directors on Nov. 2. The comprehensive report details power system needs for the next 10 years, through 2026, and how these needs can be addressed. Read the press release.


Reminder to market participants: Meeting cancellation procedure for inclement weather

Winter is fast approaching!

Here's a reminder of how to find out whether Markets, Reliability, Transmission, and Planning Advisory Committee meetings are cancelled due to inclement weather:

  • Call the ISO’s meeting cancellation number: (413) 535-4044. For inclement weather, the message will be updated by 3:30 p.m. the day before the scheduled meeting
  • Check your email—a message will be sent to committee email list subscribers
  • Check for notices in the calendar.
  • Call Customer Support at (413) 540-4220.
  • Download the Meeting Cancellation Procedure