On Wednesday, March 9, ISO New England, the grid operator for all six New England states, announced the results of its forward capacity auction (FCA) for 2025-2026, which was held on February 7 of this year. Each year, ISO-NE runs the auction three years in advance to meet electricity demand in New England.
According to ISO-NE’s announcement, the total estimated value of the capacity market in 2025-2026 will be approximately $1.04 billion, which is down from $1.36 billion in last year’s auction for 2024-2025.
The auction secured 32,810 megawatts (MW) of capacity resources to be available in 2025-2026, which is down from 34,621 MW for the 2024-2025 capacity year but which does mark enough capacity to meet reliability requirements for the region’s power system: before the auction, ISO-NE’s proposal of a net installed capacity requirement of 31,645 MW to meet reliability in New England was accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The 32,810 MW cleared by the auction includes:
- 27,984 MW of generation, including 311 MW of new resources;
- 3,323 MW (including 230 MW new) of demand resources, including energy efficiency, load management, and distributed generation resources; and
- 1,504 MW of imports from New York, Québec, and New Brunswick.
Solar, wind, energy storage, and demand resources accounted for nearly 5,000 MW of the 32,810 MW in capacity that cleared the auction, including over 700 MW of energy storage and 500 MW of solar energy.
The auction divided New England into four zones: Southeast New England (SENE), which includes northeastern Massachusetts, Greater Boston, southeastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; Northern New England (NNE), which includes New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine; “Nested” Maine, a separate capacity zone within NNE that refers to the rest of Maine; and “Rest of Pool,” which includes Connecticut and western and central Massachusetts. Prices in SENE fell from $3.98/kW-month a year ago to $2.64/kW-month. Prices in NNE and Nested Maine increased slightly from $2.48/kW-month last year to $2.53/kW-month. Finally, prices in the rest of the pool inched downward from $2.61/kW-month the year prior to $2.59/kW-month.