FERC Waives ISO-NE Deadline For Seller In Forward Capacity Auction
On September 1, 2015, the Commission granted Northeast Energy Associates’ (“NEA”) request for a one-time waiver of the timing requirements of section III.188.8.131.52.1 of ISO New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff (“Tariff”). The waiver allows consideration of NEA’s New Capacity Show of Interest Form (“Show of Interest Form”) for a 25 MW incremental increase of capacity at NEA’s Bellingham Energy Center (“Bellingham”), even though NEA submitted the requisite interconnection deposit the morning after the deadline set forth in the rules governing ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”).
ISO-NE implements the FCM, through which capacity resources compete to provide capacity to New England on a three-year-forward basis, using an annual Forward Capacity Auction (“FCA”). NEA’s request for waiver pertained to FCA 10.
Bellingham is interconnected to the ISO-NE network pursuant to a grandfathered agreement. Under this agreement, Bellingham’s capacity interconnection rights are defined by the grandfathered resource’s previous summer output. Bellingham is attempting to participate in the FCA as a new generating capacity resource, but the incremental amount of capacity offered by Bellingham would cause it to exceed its capacity network resource capability. Under ISO-NE’s Tariff, Bellingham is therefore required to submit a Show of Interest Form that includes an interconnection request and an accompanying deposit during a specific submission window in order to qualify for participation in the FCA. The window for these submissions for FCA 10 opened on February 17, 2015, and closed on March 3, 2015.
NEA submitted its interconnection request by the March 3, 2015 deadline, but erroneously omitted the $50,000 interconnection deposit. NEA stated that this omission was an administrative error that was discovered on March 3, 2015 after the Federal Reserve’s wire deadline had elapsed. NEA added that ISO-NE received the interconnection deposit at 8:47 am on March 4, 2015.
ISO-NE requested that the Commission deny NEA’s request for waiver on grounds that NEA failed to satisfy the Commission’s evaluation criteria for granting waivers. ISO-NE cited to Commission precedent holding that administrative oversight is not a sufficient reason to waive a clearly communicated FCM deadline. ISO-NE further argued that granting the request for waiver would result in favorable treatment of NEA compared to other market participants who failed to submit a valid interconnection request in FCA 10 and those that abided by the Tariff requirements and deadlines.