ISO New England's Regional System Plan is missing key factors affecting future capacity
image credit: ISO New England
- Sep 17, 2019 10:28 pm GMT
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The ISO New England 2019 Regional System Plan is now available for public review. A significant portion of the report, and its accompanying Overview Presentation contain exactly the type of technical analysis you would expect. Some of the data in the presentation appears to be somewhat dated, for example slide 14 contains solar production data from April of 2018, raising the question, why wasn't 2019 data used, which would have depicted even greater solar production, from the additional resources that have come online since April, 2018. But the use of older data is only one of the issues that raises concerns.
Conspicuously absent from the report is any mention of the impact from massive amounts of new capacity coming online from "out of market" capacity exchanges used by Consumers, such as REBA and Level Ten, and State based initiatives to achieve higher contributions from renewable resources over the coming years. This is particularly concerning given a recent report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables indicating “the contracted pipeline of projects now standing at a historic 37.9 gigawatts”. Senior solar analyst, Colin Smith called the growth in corporate solar deals particularly striking.
These “out of market” activities within Capacity Exchanges are important factors affecting available capacity that receives no mention within ISONE’s 2019 regional system plan (based on the ISONE supplied links above). This raises questions as to whether or not these important, “out of market” factors were considered by ISO-NE when the plan was created. At the very least, it would be helpful to know if ISO New England is factoring in these important variables in their planning activities, and if they are, provide some insights into the impact these factors had on their system planning projections.