Transmission congestion cost rising in New England

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Oct. 22, 2001 – Transmission congestion in New England could cost $125 -$600 million/year the result of export and import constraints within the region, ISO New England said.

The grid operator completed its regional transmission plan for 2002-2006 Friday, which examines congestion and its impact on system reliability and cost to consumers. The plan identifies specific constraints that will serve as a blueprint for investment in transmission upgrades, siting of new generation, and the development of viable demand response programs, the ISO said.

Southwestern Connecticut experiences severe transmission constraints, which if not corrected, will continue to pose severe reliability problems, it said. If a major power plant or transmission line went out of service, blackouts would be the only way to sustain the viability of the grid, the study concluded.

Southern Maine and eastern New Hampshire have become constrained. Existing power lines don’t have enough capacity for newly developed Maine-based power plants to send excess electricity out of the region. During this past summer, more expensive generation was dispatched because less expensive excess generation in Maine could not be transmitted into areas experiencing higher demand. The ISO estimated the deficiency cost $170 million.

The transmission plan identified economic congestion costs ranging between $125 million and $600 million mostly because of export constraints from Maine, southeastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and import constraints in southwestern Connecticut and Boston.

The plan was developed in response to a request earlier this year from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an assessment of the overall needs of the Northeast market, the ISO said.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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