Filed post-Forum Comments – eLibrary no. 20230824-5102

The focus of the June 20 Forum was ISO New England’s assessment of risks to the reliability of the region’s electric grid over the near term (the winters of 2023-2024 and 2024-2025) and the longer term (winter 2032). ISO New England based its near- and long-term assessments of reliability risk on a report it prepared jointly with the Electric Power Institute (EPRI). The report concluded that the near-term reliability risk was minimal and could be managed by ISO New England. The stress analysis performed as part of the longer-term assessment, however, indicated there was an elevated reliability risk for winter 2032. The stress analysis that led to the elevated winter 2032 risk assessment was based primarily on increases in system-wide demand resulting from the future electrification of heating and transportation. Both the near- and long-term assessments also considered the effect that the closure of the Everett Marine LNG Terminal might have on the reliable operation of the electric grid. Currently, the Everett LNG Terminal’s largest customer is the adjacent Mystic Generating Station, which will cease operations next May 31st. Unless Constellation Energy, the Everett LNG Terminal’s owner, can find other customers willing to sign long-term replacement contracts for its LNG shipments, it will be forced to close the facility. Because more than half of New England’s electricity is generated by fossil gas power plants, the possible closure of the Everett LNG Terminal—a source of fossil gas supply–thus figured largely in discussions at the June Forum. Acadia Center’s comments speak to all of these issues, and provide a summary of the regional role that the Everett Marine LNG Terminal has played over the fifty years the facility has been in operation. Acadia Center’s comments emphasize that the closure of the Everett Marine LNG is a near-term possibility, but an inevitability in any case if the region is to meet its 2050 GHG reduction goals. Among other things, the comments include recommendations for making continuing assessments of reliability risk to account for future changes in the region’s portfolio of electricity generating resources—the additions of clean energy resources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar power, and battery storage.