FERC filing details ISO-NE’s ongoing efforts to modernize wholesale electricity markets and system operations

ISO New England has filed a detailed response to questions posed earlier this year by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about how to modernize wholesale electricity markets.

FERC in April directed the country’s independent system operators and regional transmission organizations (ISOs and RTOs) to submit information around their current and expected system needs, and any plans to reform their markets to meet future system needs.

The ISO’s 95-page response discusses steps ISO New England and the region have taken and are exploring to tailor New England’s energy and ancillary services markets to the region’s evolving energy landscape.

“As growth of renewable-energy resources continues in the region, the reliability of the bulk power system will increasingly depend on market mechanisms designed to attract and retain balancing resources that can meet growing energy, reserves, and regulation needs,” the report states. For example, “A market product may be necessary to address broader operational uncertainties, like when a fleet of weather-dependent resources reduces output unexpectedly for an extended period of time.”

The ISO plans to seek FERC approval of its Day-Ahead Ancillary Services Initiative market design by the end of next year. It also expects to seek approval for changes in its resource capacity accreditation methods and classification of front-of-meter photovoltaics. The ISO’s filing highlights two recent studies the ISO is using to guide grid planning and market design, the Pathways Study and the Future Grid Reliability Study. It also points to the ongoing 2050 Transmission Study, an examination requested by the New England states to assess the region’s transmission needs beyond the ISO’s usual 10-year planning horizon.

Inside ISO New England
FERC, wholesale markets