For the fourth year in a row, a winter reliability program is in effect to help augment fuel adequacy in New England. In September 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a program for the winters of 2015/2016 to 2017/2018 to address seasonal reliability challenges created by constraints on New England’s interstate natural gas pipeline system. The previous programs proved to be cost-effective, short-term solutions to help keep the lights on in New England during very cold winter days.
Entries in winter (14)
How the ISO uses weather forecasts in formulating electric demand estimates
Earlier this summer, on July 7, 2016, a cold front moved into New England from the north, leading to unexpectedly cooler temperatures across the region. Boston hovered in the mid-60s for most of the day. An unanticipated thunderstorm in Hartford caused a quick and dramatic drop in temperatures. The cool weather lasted through July 8.
Natural gas pipeline constraints remain a concern, Winter Reliability Program implemented
Electricity supplies should be sufficient to meet New England’s consumer demand for electricity this winter, but possible natural gas pipeline constraints could limit electricity production from natural gas power plants. A Winter Reliability Program has been implemented to incentivize gas and oil-fired power plants to procure sufficient fuel before winter begins. View the press release.
Read FERC approves reliability program for winters 2015/2016, 2016/2017, and 2017/2018 to learn more about the Winter Reliability Program and why the ISO is implementing these programs for the coming three winters.
See the Winter Program Payment Rate page for details on payment rates.
Compared to winters past, the winter of 2015-2016 featured above-average temperatures and a brief cold snap in February. Many in the region have called it the “the winter that wasn’t.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this winter was the warmest on record in the US. The average temperature in the lower 48 states was 36.8°F, which is 4.6°F above the 20th-century average. That beats the previous record of 36.5 degrees set in the winter of 1999-2000.
Eastern Interconnection planning authorities analyzed interregional impacts and transfer capabilities for 2025 summer and winter peak hours
ISO New England and other electric power system planning authorities are members of a collaborative that plans and conducts studies for the entire Eastern Interconnection. The Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) studies are used to support state, provincial, regional, and federal policy decision making. EIPC has recently published its latest analysis, the Report for 2025 Summer and Winter Roll-Up Integration Cases.