Several Factors Help ISO New England Weather Tough Winter

Several Factors Help ISO New England Weather Tough Winter

Regional and global factors, plus preparations and delayed cold weather, helped ISO New England survive the winter of 2014-15 with fewer operational issues and less extreme prices, the ISO said Friday.

In a report to the New England Power Pool Participants Committee, Vamsi Chadalavada, ISO New England executive vice president and chief operating officer, noted the ISO’s day-ahead average locational marginal prices were $64.25/MWh in March, down 45.7% from February and down 42.2% from March 2014.

Among the preparations that helped ISO New England this year was its Winter Reliability Program, according to the report, which rewarded generators for keeping sufficient oil inventory or contracting for liquefied natural gas supplies, according to a report presented to stakeholders.

The global glut of LNG, combined with the region’s high natural gas prices in the winter of 2013-14, resulted in more LNG being available in the region.

And the sharp decrease in oil prices that has occurred since last summer made “oil-fired generation often more economic to run than natural-gas-fired generation … [thus] dampening both gas and electricity price volatility,” the ISO said.

The average natural gas price in the New England area was about $7.50/MMBtu this March, compared with about $16.50/MMBtu in February, the ISO said.

New England had a mild December, and the harshest weather was delayed until February, “when days were longer and electricity consumption was lower,” the ISO said.

New England had about 3% more heating degree days from December through February, compared with the same period of 2013-14, but December’s HDD total was about 14% less than December 2013, while this February’s HDD total was about 22% more than February 2014.

Another factor in ISO New England’s relatively uneventful winter was energy efficiency, shaving total power consumption and peak demand, the ISO said.

ISO New England consumed about 10.9 Twh in March, compared with about 11 Twh both this February and in March 2014, according to the report.

Post time: Feb-05-2021