Consumer Liaison Group discusses FERC Order 1000 and hosted VT governor at September 2017 meeting
The Consumer Liaison Group held its most recent quarterly meeting on September 7, in Woodstock, VT. The meeting featured special guest speaker Phil Scott, Governor of Vermont (pictured left); an update from ISO New England; and a panel discussion, New England Transmission in a FERC Order 1000 World: Where Are We?
Governor Scott explained that one in every 16 workers in Vermont, about 6%, is employed by the clean energy sector, which he said is the highest per capita rate of such employment in the nation. He said the state has a goal to meet 90 percent of its total energy needs from renewables by 2050. Although he said that sounds “daunting,” he said he believes it is an achievable goal. He noted the impact of the state’s investment in solar generation, saying that Vermont’s lowest electricity load is now in the middle of the afternoon, not at night when everyone is asleep, because so much of the state’s demand is met through solar installed on the distribution system.
Scott said that as communities begin to increase their use of electricity to decarbonize heating and transportation sectors, it will be important to avoid increasing peak demand or making New England less competitive because of high energy costs. It is also important, he said, to ensure we do not harm the most vulnerable by creating regressive policies. He touted the state’s long energy partnership with Quebec and discussed the benefits of the New England Clean Power Link.
Guy Page, Communications Director for Vermont Energy Partnership and a member of the CLG Coordinating Committee (not pictured), moderated the panel on FERC Order 1000. The panelists, pictured from left to right, discussed the following:
- Jason Marshall, General Counsel at the New England States Committee on Electricity, provided a history of FERC Order 1000 and the status of its implementation in New England. He explained some of the legal challenges around Order 1000 in New England and some of the perspectives that New England states have articulated about the Order.
- Mary Ellen Paravalos, Vice President for ISO, Siting & Compliance at Eversource Energy, explained the reliability, economic, and environmental benefits of transmission upgrades. Such benefits, she said, include a reduced risk of dangerous blackouts, the dispatch of lower-cost power plants, and the connection of renewable energy. She also described the benefits of Eversource’s proposed Northern Pass Transmission line.
- Donald Jessome, Chief Executive Officer at Transmission Developers Inc., said that FERC Order 1000 offers opportunities to help address some of the challenges around building transmission, explained some of the details of the state of Massachusetts’ recently released Request for Proposals (RFP) for Clean Energy Resources; and described his company’s submission to that RFP process, the New England Clean Power Link.
- Colin Owyang, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Vermont Electric Power Company, shared the principles that guide VELCO’s interactions and negotiations with developers and described what, if any, settlements VELCO has reached with the developers of three lines proposed to affect Vermont’s land or electric system: two projects proposed by National Grid — the Vermont Green Line and the Granite State Power Link — and TDI’s New England Clean Power Link.
ISO New England Update
Anne George, Vice President for External Affairs and Corporate Communications at ISO New England, provided the ISO New England update, and highlights include: information regarding Forward Capacity Auction #12, which is scheduled to take place in February 2018; ISO New England’s near-term proposal to accommodate the public policy goals of the New England states in the region’s wholesale electricity markets; the ISO’s 2018 proposed budget; and the ISO’s implementation of FERC Order 1000.
All presentations from the September 7 meeting can be found on the ISO’s website.
A forum for the exchange of information between ISO New England and electricity consumers in New England, CLG quarterly meetings are generally attended by consumers and consumer representatives (including state consumer and ratepayer advocates), state business and industry associations, chambers of commerce, individual businesses, trade groups, nonprofit organizations, and other end users. The final meeting of the year will take place on December 7, 2017, at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts.