We still don’t need fracked gas: New report shows ISO got it wrong
A new report shows that ISO-New England used unreasonable assumptions in its Operational Fuel Security Analysis released on January 17, 2018. ISO’s original analysis demonstrated “significant grid reliability issues and rolling blackouts under almost all scenarios studied.” But when the analysis was conducted with reasonable assumptions, “reliable electricity service, with no rolling blackouts, is likely in an extreme 2024/25 winter without any increase in regional gas infrastructure if states continue to implement current policies.”
ISO New England runs the region’s electrical system. As Gordon van Welie, CEO of ISO New England explains,
“Our mission is to achieve reliability through wholesale markets and we’re technology neutral. So ultimately, as long as the resources are providing us the reliability services that we need, we don’t care where the energy is coming from, and that’s by the design.
“In the context of being market neutral we’re also independent of all market participants. We set up as a not-for-profit, and we’re not allowed to have any financial interest in any entity that operates in the market.”
The report was undertaken by Synapse Energy Economics on behalf of Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Acadia Center, New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate, PowerOptions, RENEW Northeast, and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.
“Even in extreme winters far colder than this year’s, New Englanders don’t need to worry about ISO’s ability to keep the lights on as we transition away from fossil fuel electricity,” said David Ismay, Senior Staff Attorney at CLF. “ISO’s initial predictions unnecessarily sounded the alarm based on flawed assumptions and unrealistic scenarios that ignore what the states are already doing to increase system reliability. But ISO’s revised analysis using corrected data proves that the reliability of our energy system will only improve as we continue our move away from harmful fossil fuels like gas and add more clean energy like solar and wind to the grid.”
Though ISO New England is by law technically neutral about the source of energy its provides to he public, in fact CEO Gordon van Welie, quoted above, is known for his stated preference for fracked gas.