FERC approves potential new capacity zone boundaries for FCA #10

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued an order accepting a filing ISO New England submitted on April 6, identifying two potential new boundaries for capacity zones for the tenth Forward Capacity Auction (FCA #10). The filing is consistent with a FERC requirement that ISO New England have a process for determining the appropriate number of, and boundaries of, capacity zones in the New England region over time as conditions change. Under the FCM rules, new capacity zones must be approved by FERC before the qualification deadline for existing resources, which for FCA #10 is June 1, 2015. This also is the deadline for resource owners to submit delist bids. FCA #10 will take place in February 2016 for resources needed beginning June 1, 2019.

With the potential boundaries accepted by FERC, the ISO will now apply the objective criteria specified in Section III.12.4 (b) of the ISO Tariff to determine whether the potential zones will actually be modeled as separate capacity zones in the FCA #10. The ISO will present this analysis to stakeholders this summer then submit the outcome of that determination to FERC via a pre-FCA informational filing in November.

Recent retirements and transmission upgrades have driven the proposed changes to the potential new zonal boundaries for the next FCA.  One of the new potential capacity zones is a combination of the existing Northeastern Massachusetts/Boston (NEMA/Boston) and the Southeastern Massachusetts/Rhode Island (SEMA/RI) zones (collectively, the “Southeastern New England Capacity Zone” or “SENE Capacity Zone”).  The other new potential Capacity Zone is a combination of the existing Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont energy load zones (referred to as the “Northern New England Capacity Zone” or “NNE Capacity Zone”).  No changes are proposed to the boundaries associated with the West/Central Massachusetts or Connecticut portions of the system.  The potential SENE Capacity Zone would be an import-constrained capacity zone, while the proposed NNE Capacity Zone would be an export-constrained Capacity Zone. 

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capacity, forward capacity market