NEPPA Members Ask State Rep.’s to Create Blue-Ribbon Commission to Address Capacity Markets

Mansfield, MA — April 18, 2019 ‐ The New England Public Power Association (NEPPA) called on regional legislators to establish a Blue-Ribbon commission to tackle capacity markets, one of the largest problems since industry deregulation in 1998. The Blue-Ribbon Commission on Resource Adequacy and Capacity would tap regional, experienced, bi-partisan industry experts to help create a plan to stabilize market regulations, incorporate renewable energy sources and integrate the needs of individual states.

ENE’s CEO John Tzimorangas was one member of NEPPA’s four-member Advocacy & Reporting Committee who introduced the idea three weeks ago during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. for a mix of New England state representative and their staffers. Longtime state representatives had asked for a Public-Power-101 for incoming legislators and their staffers to explain the past, present and future of New England’s energy markets.

“It was a great panel discussion. The new members got to know us and communicate their concerns, which differ according to their district,” said Tzimorangas. “We, meaning public power experts, were able to give deep background, communicate the complexity of the situation, and demonstrate the need for a commission that explores solutions to our issues.”

Tzimorangas and ENE Executive V.P., Vincent Ragucci, III, along with other public power officials, held follow-up meetings with state representatives from nine congressional districts, including: Seth Moulton, D-6th District; Ayanna Pressley, D-7th district; Richard Neal D-1st District; William Keating, D-9th district and Joe Kennedy III, D-4th district.

Deregulation in 1997 introduced the benefits of the free market – driving prices down – but introduced a level of instability on the capacity markets that have remained unabated for two decades.

“We haven’t held a power auction under the same set of rules since 1998,” said Tzimorangas. The added demand for renewables and state sponsored resources – as opposed to regional – over generating sources also drives the need for an evidence-based, cost effective, solution-driven commission, said Tzimorangas.

Government representatives can apply political pressure to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), but public power must provide the content of that pressure. “State representatives agreed that we have to do something, but they are asking us what can be done,” said Tzimorangas. “And we have to provide answers for them.”

Tzimorangas, Ragucci and NEPPA officials want to hear from industry players who are interested in becoming commission members. NEPPA is seeking potential original cosponsors and stakeholders to provide input on commission structure, appointment requirements, funding needs, and authorities. Interested parties may contact Elizabeth Whitney for additional information. elizabeth@meguirewhitney.com

About Energy New England, LLC. Energy New England, LLC (https://ene.org) is a leading provider of wholesale and retail energy services. The company conducts more than $300M in structured transactions annually, and has also grown to become the leading provider of conservation and efficiency services for the public power community in the region. The company’s customer base has grown exponentially over the past few years. Its comprehensive portfolio includes power supply and risk management services, regulatory, energy and water conservation services, energy brokering, and renewable energy solutions. Energy New England has customers situated throughout New England as well as other power pools. The company works with an increasing number of utilities, independent power producers, industrial, commercial and institutional facilities, municipalities and non-profits.

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