Wired In

The Competitive Electricity Market Works to Meet Reliability Needs of the Region

By Cynthia A. Arcate 26 February, 2016
In early February, ISO-NE conducted the annual auction for electricity capacity to serve the region. Under this competitive regime, ISO-NE seeks commitments from generators and other sources of supply, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and demand response, for a three-year period in the future, in this case, 2019-2020. The auction was successful in two significant ways; first, supply was procured for all zones or areas of the region with no deficiencies. In other words, there was more than enough interest

Applying Nuclear Lessons Learned in Today’s Pipeline Debate

By Cynthia A. Arcate 28 January, 2016
New England is at a crossroad in its energy planning decision-making. The last time the region faced such critical decisions about investment in infrastructure sure to affect issues of reliability, costs and the environment was the 1980s over the future of nuclear power. In moving away from conventional fossil-fueled generation, there are many questions and crucial facts to be considered besides costs. Chief among them is timing and the ability to operationally integrate such resources into the grid. This will

Saddling Electricity Customers with Long-term Gas Pipeline Contracts is Not a Solution

By Cynthia A. Arcate 3 November, 2015
Every now and then, those of us who stick our necks out to support policy solutions have to admit that what initially sounded like a good idea turned out to be the wrong path. This is one of those times. When the Baker administration first proposed having electric distribution companies (EDCs) enter into long term contracts for natural gas capacity to fill the gap where gas distribution companies cannot commit and electricity generators will not, it seemed like a good

Making Solar Worth What We’re Paying

By Cynthia A. Arcate 21 September, 2015
Debate continues to rage about the cost of solar in Massachusetts, especially as legislation is introduced to continue the net metering credits which are responsible for much of the solar development in the state. The basics of the net-metering program are simple: Through this credit mechanism, the purchasing customers do not actually use the electricity generated from these projects but they pay the developer for the output and receive a credit on their bill from their electric company who takes