- ISO New England published its 2019 Annual Work Plan online yesterday, outlining the grid operator's major priorities and planned actions for the year, designed to improve upon existing ISO systems, practices and services to the region.
- The plan notes that after implementing "several substantial market changes" this year, "the 2019 work plan is primarily focused on developing a market-based solution to meet the region's winter energy-security needs."
- As more renewable energy has been added to the region, the New England electricity market has been forced to adapt. Consumers flipped the script one day last April when mild weather and high solar output depressed daytime loads below those in the middle of the night.
As the power mix in New England becomes increasingly green, the grid operator is looking to ensure it can maintain reliability and resiliency.
The ISO said it is continuing to assess day-ahead enhancements and is formalizing a framework for "specific opportunity costs to be incorporated into energy market supply offers."
The operator is also working to retain fuel secure resources on the grid and had proposed changes to its capacity market, but power generators asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject the proposed changes, saying they would result in over-procurement of resources. Looking ahead to winter energy security, the ISO said in its work report that it is considering an "interim compensation treatment for periods associated with reliability reviews for fuel security."
Recently, power prices spiked on the ISO's grid after generation outages occurred alongside unexpected demand spikes. Real-time prices topped $2600/MWh in ISO-New England early in September after a Labor Day heatwave triggered emergency procedures from the grid operator.
The ISO is also developing a regional initiative that will serve as "a comprehensive planning report" on system needs, and is working to improve day-ahead markets to better "procure and price" reserve products.
The 2019 work plan also says cybersecurity will continue to be a major area of focus.
"The ISO will continue to implement various cyber-security related infrastructure improvements," the plan says, and "in addition to the infrastructure improvements, the ISO is administering training and exercises on cyber security as a prominent corporate objective."