About the New England Market

ISO-NE operates the Forward Capacity Market (FCM), which ensures that the New England power system procures sufficient resources to meet the future demand for electricity. 

Forward Capacity Auctions (FCAs) are held annually, three years in advance of the operating period. Resources compete in the auctions to obtain a commitment to supply capacity in exchange for a market-priced capacity payment.

Demand Response Programs in New England

ISO-NE and NE Electric Utilities offer the following demand response programs:

ISO-NE Demand Response Programs

Active Demand Capacity Resource (ADCR) is a demand response program in which participating loads are dispatched when wholesale electricity prices in New England are exceptionally high and blackouts are imminent.

Launched in June 2018 as part of ISO-NE’s price-responsive demand construct, ADCR replaced the Real-Time Demand Response Program (RTDR). ADCR is a 30-minute notice program.

Passive [On-Peak] Demand Response rewards participating organizations for making permanent load reductions.

Unlike active resources, On-Peak resources are passive, non-dispatchable, and only participate in ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market. Eligible behind-the-meter resources include solar, fuel cells, cogeneration systems, combined heat and power systems (CHP), and more.

Passive Demand Response participants offer their reduced electricity consumption into the market during both the summer and winter peak hours.

Peak Demand Management in New England

Each year when the grid sets its yearly peak, every organization in New England is assessed a Capacity Tag value based on the amount of electricity the organization was consuming during the assessment period.

Peak Demand Management involves an organization reducing its electrical consumption when Capacity Tag values are assessed by the grid, thereby lowering the organization’s capacity charges the following year.

Some New England utilities offer additional payments for reducing load during these peak hours, allowing customers to execute one strategy to earn revenue while saving on capacity charges through peak management.

New England Utility Programs

Utility Demand Response Program: Connected Solutions

National Grid, Eversource, Cape Light Compact, Unitil, and Liberty utilities are working to lower the amount of total energy our community uses during the summer months when demand for electricity on the grid is at its highest (peak demand).

To help keep their grids healthy and reliable, these utilities offer the Connected Solutions demand response program that pays businesses to use less energy during peak demand periods.

Efficiency Maine DRI

As of March 2022, two of Maine’s biggest electric utilities–Central Maine Power and Versant Power–as managed by the Efficiency Maine Trust will now offer the Demand Management Program – Demand Response Initiative (DRI) that pays participating organizations for using less energy when the total demand on the grid is approaching its peak.

The program aims to help provide greater reliability for the grid by reducing peak demand and lowering overall grid costs which can help keep electricity rates stable for all customers. CPower has been selected as a Curtailment Services Provider for the DRI program and can help your organization optimize its participation for maximum savings and earnings.

Utility Demand Response Program: Daily Dispatch Demand Response

To help further reduce peaks on their distribution systems, New England utilities National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil have introduced a new demand response program called Daily Dispatch.

Daily Dispatch is designed to allow energy storage (batteries, thermal storage) to participate because of its ability to be dispatched frequently and quickly in response to rising peaks.

The Daily Dispatch program runs during the summer from June through September. The program is intended to be dispatched (as the name suggests) daily with anywhere from 30-60 events each year during the hot months of July and August. Each event is expected to last about two to three hours.

Clean Peak Energy Portfolio Standard

Massachusetts implemented the Clean Peak Energy Portfolio Standard in 2020; the standard is geared toward increasing clean energy production during periods when electricity demand is highest.

This is accomplished by requiring retail electricity suppliers to purchase Clean Peak Certificates for a specified percentage of their load (starting at 1.5% and increasing by 1.5% each year through 2050). Clean Peak Certificates are purchased from Clean Peak Resources – resources that either produce clean energy during certain peak hours or reduce energy consumption during these hours.

Demand Response (DR) is one of several types of resources that can qualify as a Clean Peak Resource (making it eligible to earn Clean Peak Certificates which can then be sold to retail electricity suppliers), however, because DR measurement and verification standards have yet to be developed, these resources have not been able to qualify for certificates to date.

This program creates another potential revenue source for demand reductions during peak hours. Resource owners decide when and how much to curtail, and will earn Clean Peak Certificates accordingly. This program can be stacked with Connected Solutions to create additional value for the same load reduction.

New England Program Parameters

CPower helps organizations in New England (ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT) participate in the ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market, through which the ISO procures the required capacity they think they will need years in advance of the delivery year when the energy will actually be used.

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