New England electric grid operator completes power auction
HOLYOKE, Mass.. — The annual auction to determine who will provide enough electricity for New England three years in the future has yielded the lowest clearing prices in five years, according to officials with the regional power grid operator.
ISO-New England officials said Thursday that the 12th Forward Capacity Market auction closed with a preliminary clearing price of $4.63 per kilowatt-month price. That is down from $5.30/kilowatt-month in last year’s auction.
The auction concluded with commitments from 34,828 megawatts to be available in 2021-22, with 1,103 megawatts of surplus capacity system-wide. The auction rules allow the region to acquire more or less than the capacity target, providing flexibility to acquire additional capacity and enhanced reliability at a cost-effective price.
“The forward capacity market is designed to ensure resource adequacy — that there are enough resources in the right places to meet peak demand,” Robert Ethier, vice president of market operations at ISO-NE, said in a statement. “This auction procured sufficient resources at a competitive price.”
The rules of the auction do not allow ISO-NE officials to identify the bidders at this time, said Marcia Blomberg, a spokeswoman for the grid operator.
The total generation capacity committed to operate in 2021-22, includes 174 megawatts of new power production capability. That includes a new 58-megawatt gas fired power plant and 87 megawatts of increased generating capacity at existing power plants.
A total of 1,217 megawatts will be coming from New York, Québec and New Brunswick, Canada.