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FERC Commissioner Rich Glick’s astute observation at NARUC is profound!

Courtesy of FERC website

One thing is perfectly clear, there is no shortage of new capacity looking to come online in New England between 2019 and 2023. According to data provided by ISO New England there are 167 total entries in the interconnect queue planning to come online between 2019-2023, representing a total of 24,698 MW of new capacity.

The breakdown, by Fuel Type, over the entire period 2019-2023 appears below:

Fuel Type

Capacity MW

Natural Gas

 7551

Hydro

   357

Battery Storage

 3456

Solar (not including BTM PV)

 3144

Wind

10190

TOTAL

24,698

 

Factoring in the approximately 1,800 MW of forecasted new solar capacity (not included in the table above, i.e. BTM PV) for 2019-2023 raises the total amount of new capacity to 26,498. Adding the total amount of existing capacity supply MW’s as of 2018, approximately 31,300, results in a potential generating supply capacity online in 2023 of 57,798 MW, assuming no retirements occur during this time frame. Additional capacity MW’s from Energy Efficiency and Demand Response have not been included in this calculation, which would increase the total amount of available capacity significantly.

This represents a significant abundance of excess capacity, when you consider that peak demand in New England, historically, is less than 30,000 MW, and going down!

During the NARUC Winter meeting Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Rich Glick called for a "new approach to capacity markets, saying he has come to question the benefits of the forward-looking power auctions in his first year at the agency.”

I agree, Mr. Commissioner.

Richard Brooks's picture

Thank Richard for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on February 15, 2019

Is Commissioner Glick's take here a unique one among FERC commissioners or do you think he's expressing an opinion that might come out of the entire body?

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on February 15, 2019

Matt, I haven't seen or read other Commissioners taking a stand on the need for a new approach, however, there is a lot of churn inside FERC regarding capacity markets. I suspect the recent letter from 18 Senators will result in some action.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on February 15, 2019

Richard, without penalties charged to all sources for unavailability, and a shred of evidence batteries, efficiency, or demand response can effectively serve as "potential generating supply capacity",  Glick's comments are certainly refreshing, if not profound.

Has a clear purpose for capacity markets been defined somewhere? It seems that would be the first step.

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on February 15, 2019

Totally agree, Bob; penalities for non-performance must be part of the design for both capacity buyer and seller.

Here is the purpose info from the NAESB AOCE proposal that's under development:

•Capacity Markets aren’t meeting the environmental needs manifested in State Based Energy Programs (i.e. RGGI, RPS, etc.), as indicated by FERC Docket AD17-11-000

•New capacity is coming onto the system from Behind-the-Meter PV, daily, at an alarming rate

•New capacity from renewable resources is far outpacing capacity from other fuels, i.e. Natural Gas for 2019 according to EIA estimates

•ISO New England already has 20,000 MW of NEW Capacity in the queue, indicated on slide 6; there is no shortage of new capacity to meet future needs, and it’s accelerating rapidly

•Capacity Markets are hitting headwinds due to tensions from capacity entering the system outside of ISO control, such as State sponsored programs that subsidize Green Energy

•Current capacity market designs, with their inaccurate 3-year planning horizon  are unable to accurately forecast the amount of new capacity coming online from Behind-the-Meter Solar/DER/Battery resources and  are not flexible enough to handle the realities of today’s energy evolution

•Protests to FERC Docket ER19-467-000  provide clear evidence that real change is needed.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on February 15, 2019

Thanks Richard - good info, and a good resource to have.

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