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US FERC approves Cal-ISO backstop power capacity auctions


The California Independent System Operator will begin using a competitive solicitation process early next year to acquire backstop capacity when there are unexpected shortages or grid reliability issues under a plan approved by federal regulators.
“We find that compensating [capacity procurement mechanism] capacity based on the results of a competitive solicitation process will result in compensation driven by competitive factors and, therefore, will appropriately reflect both changing market conditions and corresponding fluctuations in capacity prices,” the …

Interests of electric power transmission, generation often conflict: panelists


The Houston Import Project flap has highlighted Electric Reliability Council of Texas generation and transmission owners’ competing interests, and attendees of a regional trade conference on Wednesday received a thorough briefing — but no resolution — of the issues involved.
The Houston Import Project is a 345-kV line that would connect a substation in the southeast part of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ North Hub to a substation in northwest Harris County in ERCOT’s Houston Hub.
On April 24, Cross Texas Transmission and CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric applied for certificates of convenience and necessity to build the project, which links the eastern corner of Limestone County near …

Cheaper fuel ‘drove down’ MISO power prices this summer: monitor


Significantly less expensive fuel outweighed this summer’s heavier average loads in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator footprint to keep real-time power prices substantially below last summer’s prices, a MISO panel heard Wednesday.
David Patton, president of Potomac Economics, MISO’s independent market monitor, told the Markets Committee of the MISO Board of Directors Wednesday that real-time energy prices averaged $28.78/MWh in …

More New England generation, transmission, pipelines needed: ISO-NE


Substantial improvements are now being made to the New England power grid, but more generating capacity, transmission capacity and natural gas pipeline capacity will be needed to ensure reliability and to minimize price volatility, ISO New England said in a draft of its 2015 Regional System Plan.
“The region has reached a turning point in addressing several key challenges to system reliability,” ISO-NE said in the draft report, a final version of which is expected to be issued in November.
New England is becoming increasingly dependent on gas-fired generation as coal, oil and nuclear units are …

ERCOT sets wind generation output record Sunday, real-time power prices move negative


Wind farms in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ footprint set a new output record of 11,467 MW at 10:56 pm CDT Sunday (0356 GMT Monday), the grid operator said Monday.
ERCOT’s previous wind generation output record was 11,154 MW, set on February 19.
Texas has the highest installed wind capacity of any state in the US at about 15,635 MW, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
The Texas wind generation bonanza spilled into early…

FERC asked for stance on Northwest power market


In a key step to developing an energy market in the Northwest, a group of utilities and other entities are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to make certain findings related to their plans to launch a sub-hourly market.
FERC’s determinations will help decide whether a voluntary 15-minute trading market overseen by an independent administrator will move ahead, according to the request for a declaratory order, filed Friday with FERC.
“Recognition by the commission that an all-voluntary market model is acceptable, that the unique characteristics of the region’s resource mix will factor into oversight of market behavior, and that the region will have reasonable certainty with respect to the shape of the developing market are all critical factors in …