Forward Capacity Auction set for February 5

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted ISO New England’s proposed Installed Capacity Requirement (ICR) and related values for the 18th Forward Capacity Auction (FCA 18).

Scheduled to begin on February 5, the auction will procure the capacity resources—including traditional power plants, renewable generation, imports, and demand resources such as load management and energy efficiency measures—needed to meet the region’s projected demand for electricity from June 1, 2027 to May 31, 2028.

The ISO submitted two documents for FERC’s review ahead of the auction:

  • The Installed Capacity Requirement filing provides a detailed description of the ICR and related values associated with the system and zonal demand curves used in the auction.
  • The informational filing provides technical details about the auction, including the capacity resources qualified to participate and the capacity zones that will be modeled based on characteristics of the transmission system. FERC has not issued an order on this filing yet.

Installed Capacity Requirement

The ICR is the minimum level of capacity needed to meet reliability requirements for New England’s power system.

FERC accepted the ISO’s proposed ICR of 31,591 megawatts (MW) for FCA 18. The figure assumes 2,115 MW in aggregate emergency assistance available from New Brunswick, New York, and Québec. The ICR does not include 1,041 MW in Hydro-Québec Interconnection Capability Credits. With those credits, the net ICR is 30,550 MW.

Capacity zones

For each auction, the ISO studies transmission constraints and sets capacity zones that signal areas of the power system with a potential shortfall or surplus of capacity. Multiple zones help ensure that capacity is located and priced appropriately.

Three capacity zones will be modeled in FCA 18.

A capacity zone is export-constrained if its available resources, after serving local demand, exceed the area’s transmission capability to export the excess electricity. The ISO sets a maximum capacity limit in these zones that can be used to meet New England’s demand for electricity. For FCA 18, the limit is 8,760 MW in the Northern New England Capacity Zone and 4,150 MW in the Maine Capacity Zone.

There are no import-constrained capacity zones for FCA 18.

Related auction inputs

The ISO’s FCA 18 informational filing included other important auction inputs:

  • The ISO qualified a total of 32,685 MW of existing capacity resources to participate in the auction, including:
    • 29,855 MW from existing generating resources (intermittent and non-intermittent)
    • 2,746 MW from existing demand resources
    • 84 MW from existing import resources
  • The ISO qualified 135 new capacity resources totaling 4,108 MW to participate in the auction.
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FCA 18, forward capacity market