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ISO-NE capacity auction redo still needed: Vineyard Wind

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ISO-NE capacity auction redo still needed: Vineyard Wind

Highlights

**Rerun would hurt auction competitiveness: ISO

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**Offshore wind participation would reduce prices

Vineyard Wind Tuesday continued its call for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to vacate and rerun ISO New England's capacity auction so that offshore wind has a shot at clearing, saying the move is still needed to reduce capacity prices and save consumers millions of dollars.

Vineyard Wind's request has drawn public statements from three of the four sitting FERC members. And, if granted, Vineyard Wind's request could further reduce the clearing price for ISO-NE's 13th Forward Capacity Auction, which was already the lowest price in six years.

FCA 13, which ran earlier this month, closed at a preliminary clearing price of $3.80/kW-month. Vineyard Wind had asked FERC for a waiver (ER19-570) so that part of its 800-MW offshore wind project could qualify as a renewable technology resource that is exempt from the minimum offer price rule. FERC had not acted on the request by the time the auction started February 4, so Vineyard Wind filed an emergency motion for FERC to vacate and rerun the auction, and act on its waiver request.

FERC did not act on the waiver or the emergency motion and Vineyard Wind did not clear ISO-NE's primary auction. But the offshore wind project did receive a capacity supply obligation of 54 MW from an existing resource that will retire in 2022-23 by participating in ISO-NE's substitution auction under the grid operator's new competitive auctions with sponsored policy resources rules.

ISO-NE CONCERNS

ISO-NE did not oppose the waiver but opposed the emergency motion. "Rerunning FCA 13 would allow auction participants to utilize strategic information gathered from the previous auction, which would adversely impact the competitiveness of the auction," ISO-NE said. And Vineyard Wind can seek RTR treatment in the next auction, the grid operator said.

The New England Power Generator's Association said including Vineyard Wind's capacity would reduce clearing prices by $0.667/kW-month, which would cut payments to capacity suppliers by $270 million.

VINEYARD WIND RESPONSE

On Tuesday, Vineyard Wind blasted ISO-NE's mention of the next auction. "It appears that ISO-NE would counsel Vineyard Wind to surrender its rights and settle for 'too bad kid - better luck next time,'" the answer said.

And NEPGA's concerns about prices underscores the potential for offshore wind to save customers hundreds of millions of dollars, Vineyard Wind said. "That is what markets are supposed to do -- produce consumer benefit and just and reasonable rates," the answer said. Vineyard Wind noted that while 54 MW of its capacity cleared in the substitution auction, the clearing price it received was $0.

AEE PETITION

Meanwhile, Advanced Energy Economy and the Sustainable FERC Project last week asked FERC to declare that ISO-NE cannot retroactively change the way it measures the demand reduction value of energy efficiency resources for FCM 13, an issue that came up in phone calls with the ISO.

The change could reduce the capacity value of energy efficiency resources by 65% or more, the petition (EL19-43) said. Amid uncertainty about the change, energy efficiency providers were conservative in submitting their resources into FCA 13, potentially increasing capacity prices, the petition said.

In response, Marcia Blomberg, a spokeswoman for ISO-NE said, "we've been evaluating the measurement and verification requirements for [energy efficiency] resources, but we have not made any changes and we intend to have a more full and complete discussion this year before any changes would be made." -- Kate Winston, kate.winston@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson, newsdesk@spglobal.com