ISO-NE issues early analysis of Winter 2024-2025 operations with, without Everett LNG facility
To better inform regional decision-making on power system reliability and key energy infrastructure, ISO New England recently conducted an early analysis of Winter 2024-2025 power system operations, similar to analyses completed ahead of recent winters and focused on several weather scenarios seen in New England in the past decade.
The analysis looked at anticipated system operations, with and without the availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Everett Marine Terminal (EMT), one of the three LNG facilities serving New England. The results showed limited reliability risks in the short-term, with or without the EMT, provided other generating resources are available to respond.
Analyzing system operations with, without Everett
The ISO’s analysis focused on Winter 2024-2025 because it will be the first without the Mystic Generating Station. The station’s two remaining units, totaling 1,400 MW of capacity, are retiring in June 2024. Mystic is the LNG facility’s largest customer, and the future of EMT is uncertain following the power plant’s retirement.
This analysis suggests that the region’s electricity system can withstand the retirement of the EMT if oil or dual-fuel generators have sufficient oil supplies and gas generators are able to secure LNG from other suppliers, such as the St. John’s Terminal in New Brunswick, Canada or the Northeast Gateway facility off the coast of Massachusetts. The analysis does not model extreme situations that have a very low probability of occurring.
The ISO predicated this analysis on several assumptions, including limited increases in consumer demand for electricity, continued rapid deployment of behind-the-meter solar resources, increased fuel supplies in the region under the Inventoried Energy Program (IEP), and an offshore wind project coming online as scheduled.
While the analysis shows minimal energy shortfalls under severe winter weather, it also demonstrates that those shortfalls may not materialize if sufficient oil resources are available on cold days and operate at required levels.
Should an energy shortfall appear in the ISO’s 21-day look-ahead forecast, the ISO’s system operators have tools to mitigate the shortfall, such as coordinating with neighboring regions to increase imports, working with resource owners to replenish their fuel inventory levels, relying on market signals to conserve fuel, and initiating public appeals for conservation.
The ISO does not have expertise on the gas system and, therefore, the local gas companies and pipeline operators will need to identify any operational concerns for their systems resulting from the potential closure of the Everett facility.