Retrofits & Upgrades

New England’s generating units respond to market signals

HOLYOKE, Mass.—(BU.S.INESS WIRE)—Jan. 12, 2001—The operator of the region’s bulk power grid, ISO New England Inc., is currently performing a study on generating unit availability in New England. The ISO is focusing on what are the drivers for unit outages including the impact of market operations, age, environmental retrofits and other factors. The target completion date of this study is late March 2001. Final results from this study will be released at that time.

ISO New England has observed that since the wholesale electricity marketplace opened in May 1999, generating units have been responsive to ISO requests and made aggressive efforts to be available to meet peak demand. Following wholesale market signals, generating units typically conduct annual maintenance during time periods when electricity demand is low and available capacity is more than adequate to meet demand. This maintenance generally occurs during the seasonal off-peak �shoulder� periods in the spring and fall. Peak demand occurs in New England in the summer and winter seasons.

In addition, ISO New England has noted that during short-term peak demand periods that occur �off-peak�, for example, during the spring, or when a generator suddenly trips off-line and is unavailable, generators and their operators work vigorously to have the generating units online, maintain system reliability and meet the needs of New England’s electricity consumers.

Other observations include that during peak demand summer and winter months, when the weather is more temperate than forecasted, generators may conduct spot, or short-term maintenance outages, in order to prepare for days when demand is high.

When ISO New England’s study on generating unit availability is finalized in late March, its findings will be available on the ISO New England website at (