The New England Patriots are back in the Super Bowl, set to take on the Atlanta Falcons Sunday night in Texas. Millions of football fans across the region will be watching, and so will ISO New England system operators—not to cheer on the home-town favorite, but to ensure the region’s power grid reliability. Even when the game is thousands of miles away, the Super Bowl can have a big impact on regional electricity demand—before, during, and after the game. Like players celebrating in the end zone after a touchdown, demand spikes and dips throughout the game. Grid operators must closely monitor the fluctuations and be ready to respond quickly. Electricity supply must be kept in precise balance with consumer demand at all times—and failure to do so could result in grid instability.
Regional air emissions 2015: slight year-over-year increase in CO2 levels; long-term reductions remain significant
Since 2001, SO2 down 95%, NOx down 68%, CO2 down 24%
The retirement of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and the continuing trend of increased oil-fired generation in New England were factors in a slight increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2015 compared to 2014, as well as slowing year-on-year declines, as reported in the 2015 ISO New England Electric Generator Air Emissions Report, issued January 2017. However, significant retirements of coal-fired generation contributed to the region’s continuing long-term reductions in the emissions generated by the region’s power plants.
The presentation and recording of the January 19, 2017, FCM Existing Capacity Qualification Process webinar are now available on the ISO New England website. This webinar informs market participants of the existing capacity qualification process for generation, imports, and demand resources that are participating in the twelfth Forward Capacity Auction (FCA #12) to be held in February 2018 for the 2021-2022 Capacity Commitment Period. Email the training team with questions at MkTraining@iso-ne.com.
As elected officials kick off their 2017 legislative sessions, several energy committees have invited ISO New England to give briefings on issues related to the regional electric grid. The ISO's External Affairs representatives are traveling throughout the region to provide the committees an overview of the bulk power system, including power system operations, transmission planning, and wholesale electricity markets, as well as data and information pertinent to the respective states. The presentations also highlight what the ISO has identified as the top reliability risks to the region’s electric grid: inadequate natural gas infrastructure, the retirement of non-gas-fired power plants, and maintaining reliability as increasing amounts of distributed and intermittent resources come online.
The presentation and recording of the January 26, 2017, FCM Delist webinar are now available on the ISO New England website. This webinar provides market participants with information about the Internal Market Monitor's (IMM) delist cost review process as well as how to complete the IMM's published cost workbooks according to the current market rule. Email the training team with questions at MkTraining@iso-ne.com.
ISO New England President and CEO Gordon van Welie provided reporters with an update on the state of New England’s electric system during a media briefing on Monday, January 30, 2017, held as part of the ISO on Background series. The briefing included information on New England’s power grid, the continuing transformation of the fuel resource mix and the fundamental challenges facing the region moving forward. New England is in the midst of a transition away from coal- and oil-fired power plants and towards a “hybrid” power system of larger generators, including renewable resources, and small behind-the-meter resources at customer sites. However, demand for natural gas continues to rise, challenging the region’s fuel security—the assurance that sufficient fuel will be available for power plants to generate the electricity when needed. Watch the briefing, or view van Welie’s presentation and remarks from the event.
ISO on Background is a series of periodic briefings designed to provide members of the media with an informal opportunity to learn more about the trends affecting New England’s electricity industry and ISO New England’s role in the region’s power system.