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FERC Accepts Plan to Delay New England Capacity Auction

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has accepted a proposal from ISO New England and the New England Power Pool to delay the 19th Forward Capacity Auction until 2028.

The delay gives ISO-NE and stakeholders time to develop a new structure for the region’s capacity market, which helps procure sufficient resources to meet demand for electricity, ISO-NE said on May 21.

The ISO has recommended transitioning to a “prompt/seasonal” capacity market to better ensure power system reliability and cost-efficiency as New England’s resource mix evolves.

For the last 18 years, the ISO has administered a Forward Capacity Market, using annual auctions to secure commitments from energy resources three years in advance.

In contrast, a prompt auction would take place shortly before the delivery period, reflecting more accurate information about projected electricity supply and demand. The seasonal element involves procuring capacity in a way that better addresses the distinct reliability challenges of winter and summer, as well as variations in resource performance from season to season.

FCA 19 was originally scheduled for 2025. The ISO earlier this year received FERC approval to delay the auction by one year in order to complete the Resource Capacity Accreditation project. The additional delay approved by FERC this week postpones the auction two more years.

Between now and then, the ISO will work with stakeholders in the Markets Committee and elsewhere to develop the prompt/seasonal capacity market structure, which also will be subject to FERC approval.

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