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Industry News

FERC Reaffirms Locational ICAP for ISO New England

LCG, March 24, 2005--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier this week denied requests for rehearing regarding ISO New England's (ISO-NE) plan to implement a locational installed capacity (LICAP) market. The plan, which calls for two capacity regions in Connecticut, one region for Maine, one for eastern Massachusetts and one for the rest of New England, will retain the LICAP implementation date of January 1, 2006.

The FERC reiterated its position that the current market design, which relies on the wide use of RMR agreements, suppresses market clearing prices, limits the ability of other generators to earn competitive revenues and generally undermines the effectiveness of the market. With the implementation of the new market design, the Commission believes that generating capacity will be valued more appropriately with respect to location. Rather than a uniform price across New England, the new design will allow prices to reflect local differences in the balance of supply and demand.

In outlining the need to proceed without further delay, the FERC highlighted the lack of progress, especially in southwest Connecticut, with implementing plans to add transmission capacity that would improve grid reliability, reduce load pockets and increase competition between generators.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has reiterated his strong opposition to the plan. He has expressed concerns that generators will receive windfall profits and that Connecticut consumers, which will be assigned to two different LICAP areas and pay two different rates, will be used as FERC's "guinea pig for its unwise and unworkable policies."

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