Vice President Paul Hibbard’s Study of New England’s Wholesale Energy Market Cited in Platts.com Article

February 05, 2013

Research on New England's wholesale energy markets conducted by Vice President Paul Hibbard was the focus of the recent Platts.com article "ISO-NE Eyes Impact of Possible Market Changes" (January 29, 2013).

Mr. Hibbard was retained by ISO New England (ISO-NE) to evaluate potential reliability risks, efficiency gains, and costs resulting from proposed rule changes in electricity and gas markets in New England. The nonprofit ISO-NE oversees the administration of and long-term planning for the region's electric power generation and transmission system.

In a memorandum presenting his findings, Mr. Hibbard notes that "changes to ISO New England's market rules to address natural gas supply concerns could spur development of new gas and generation infrastructure, including an increase in available megawatts from plans with dual gas and oil fuel capability." However, potential benefits from these infrastructure changes will vary according to when plant retirements and upgrades occur, how they are deployed, and a number of other economic and operational factors, Mr. Hibbard says in the report.

Mr. Hibbard reviewed costs associated with four potential infrastructure responses to ISO-NE's market rule changes: an increase in dual-fuel generation, new gas interstate pipeline capacity, new in-region liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage, and storage/transportation arrangements tied to existing LNG facilities. In the report, Mr. Hibbard notes that costs to consumers "will depend on the infrastructure options, market need, and the ultimate price of the most competitive resource options that can meet system capacity needs and unit performance obligations."

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