ISO-NE introduces power sector career opportunities to local high school students in GEAR UP program

On Tuesday, April 16, ISO New England hosted three students from our local Holyoke High School’s GEAR UP program. The goal of the GEAR UP visit was to expose students to different career opportunities in the power industry and discussing related academic areas of study. During the visit, the students learned a little bit about how electricity is generated and travels to their house. They also watched a brief video about the 2003 Northeast Blackout and saw the control room. Six different ISO staffers spent time with the students explaining what they do at the ISO and a little bit about their journey here.

Fabio Dallorto, an associate engineer at ISO New England, speaks with students from the Holyoke High School GEAR UP program.

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Earth Day 2019: A capacity market first

Every year, ISO New England fields requests from new resources seeking to enter the Forward Capacity Market. And every year, ISO analysts research those resources to ensure they’ll be able to provide the region with the capacity they’re promising three years in the future. But what happens when a resource is actually 5,000 individual power systems spread out across four New England states?

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Online FCM Participation Guide updated

The Forward Capacity Market (FCM) Participation Guide has been updated to reflect the latest procedures, reference materials, hyperlinks, and terminology. The guide assists anyone needing more information on FCM processes and includes an overview of the market, as well as the following sections:

  • The qualification processes for new and existing generators, demand resources, and imports
  • How the Annual Forward Capacity Auction (FCA) works
  • The post-auction processes for new resources
  • The reconfiguration auctions and capacity supply obligation bilateral periods for acquiring, increasing, decreasing, or eliminating an obligation after an FCA
  • How to delivery capacity as part of the FCM

Get started here learning about the FCM.


Winter 2018/2019 recap: What a difference a year makes

A year ago, Winter 2017/2018 included two weeks of bitter cold that challenged power system operations, but this past winter was marked by more moderate temperatures, leading to lower wholesale electricity prices and less stressful system conditions.

Temperatures during the 2018/2019 winter months – December, January, and February – averaged 30°F, less than a degree higher than the previous winter’s average temperature. But the difference was the region was not hit by any prolonged periods of extreme cold. With no extreme temperatures lasting for days, the region avoided the price spikes that drove up average wholesale power prices last year.

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Spotlight video: An integrated approach to wind power

Over the past decade, wind power has grown significantly in New England, accounting for more than 3,300 gigawatt hours of production in the region’s wholesale markets in 2018. ISO New England has produced a trio of videos detailing the steps taken behind the scenes over the years to integrate wind resources into the region’s power system. The ISO has worked diligently to weave wind energy into our operations, markets, and system planning procedures. These efforts have laid a solid foundation as developers look to add more wind power, especially offshore, to the system in the coming decade.


2018 transmission-outage coordination stats and goals

ISO-NE had requests for almost 3,500 planned outages and handled over 800 unplanned outages last year

No one wants a power line to stop working unexpectedly, like during a major storm. But power lines and other transmission equipment must undergo some down time so that participating transmission owners (PTOs) can conduct routine maintenance for avoiding emergencies, accommodate new construction, or address problems that crop up. One of the ISO’s responsibilities is to analyze impacts of and schedule these outages all over New England with the PTOs and local control centers (LCCs) so that the PTOs do not remove their equipment from service at the same time or when an outage will negatively affect some other ongoing activity. The long-term scheduling of transmission outages is critical because it gives the ISO the time to measure both the reliability and economic impacts of proposed outages to the system and communicate the probable effects to market participants, which helps keep the energy markets operating efficiently.

The ISO New England Transmission Equipment Outage Coordination 2018 report summarizes the outage process that took place in 2018, the number and types of outages that occurred, and the 2019 goals for the ISO’s Outage-Coordination group for improving outage coordination, reducing congestion costs, and increasing operational flexibility.

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