Adopts RENEW Northeast amendments valuing renewables in capacity market auctions. Result will be lower costs to New England ratepayers.
For Immediate Release
Madison, Connecticut. November 10, 2020.
RENEW Northeast, Inc. (RENEW), a leading regional renewable energy organization governed by both environmental and industry interests, praises the NEPOOL Markets Committee on passing four RENEW amendments today that will allow renewable power projects to compete fairly in the electricity markets managed by ISO New England (ISO).
Today’s vote reflects a majority view among diverse sectors represented in the NEPOOL Markets Committee that renewable power is a growing and cost-effective resource that is competitive in existing electricity markets. The NEPOOL Markets Committee consists of all participants in the New England electricity system including consumers, generators, municipally owned utilities and investor-owned transmission companies. A second and final vote on the amendments will be required in December at NEPOOL’s top-level Participants Committee.
NEPOOL also rejected the ISO proposal that calls for high offshore wind and solar cost assumptions. The ISO’s proposed offshore wind costs are 1.5 times the prevailing commercial expectations according to publicly available data from a wide range of professional sources, including one prepared for the State of New York. ISO incredibly assumes local project developers that have signed long-term contracts will be taking an average loss of $1.3 billion per 800-megawatt project.
The RENEW proposal sets the lowest price that new renewable power, particularly offshore wind and solar, can offer into the ISO capacity market which restricts suppliers from offering at prices below their costs. RENEW’s amendments ensure clean technologies will be competitive with conventional generation sources. The result will be lower costs to consumers for clean energy.
Last month, the New England Governors laid out a vision for changes needed to achieve “a clean, affordable, and reliable 21st century regional electric grid,” noting that the existing “wholesale markets fail to sufficiently value the legally-required clean energy investments made by the ratepayers they serve.” Adoption of these amendments is an important step toward reaching the Governors’ goals.
Earlier this week, Massachusetts’ largest and most respected business and nonprofit associations, representing over 4,000 energy users, called on Governor Charlie Baker to support the full participation of renewable energy in all the ISO’s electricity markets.
In a letter sent to the Governor and his energy team, Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Power Options, Alliance for Business Leadership, and RENEW Northeast outlined how the current ISO treatment of renewable energy, particularly offshore wind, results in keeping “prices artificially high for consumers while perpetuating financial advantages to conventional generators.”
“Today’s action by the NEPOOL Market Committee is a win for consumers and the environment,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW. “We are pleased that NEPOOL agreed that the adoption of realistic cost assumptions for renewable energy is in the best interest of our regional electricity grid.”
Visit www.renewne.org/fair-market for additional information.