Gordon van Welie
President and Chief Executive Officer
ISO New England, Inc.
One Sullivan Road
Holyoke, MA 01040
Dear Mr. van Welie,
I am writing to express my concern at ISO New England's decision to curtail Kingdom Community Wind's energy production during last week's heat wave. While I understand ISONE's reliability mission, I urge you to ensure that it is exercised with clear regard for the clean energy goals of Vermont and the region. As you know, the State of Vermont has implemented policies to increase the production of clean, local, renewable energy projects including wind. ISO-NE's curtailment of renewable resources at a time when it instead asked for generation from our oldest and dirtiest power sources to shoulder the burden during peak energy usage runs counter to these goals.
ISO New England has previously noted deficiencies in the transmission grid surrounding Kingdom Community Wind and elsewhere in the region where curtailments have occurred. I urge ISO-NE to consider whether its planning assumptions used for approval of projects align well with its operation assumptions, and whether it could do more to integrate and fully utilize renewable resources into its grid operations, including during times of peak demand where use of other more expensive and dirtier resources may be avoided. Vermont has a clear preference for renewable resources and would have preferred that the local renewable energy produced by this utility-owned resource had been used to meet regional power needs in the Northeast Kingdom and surrounding communities where homes and businesses were also experiencing a period of high demand last week.
I know this is an issue of concern to you too, and I look forward to continued focus on full integration of renewable resources by ISO-NE. I also urge ISO-NE to fully account for growing distributed generation renewable resources in its transmission planning assumptions; Vermont has seen a tremendous growth in these resources in the past few years, and believes that growth will continue. Ensuring that these resources are counted in ISO-NE's planning assumptions may save money by lowering transmission buildout requirements, and will also help support regional renewable energy goals. I appreciate ISO-NE's continued interest in a robust and reliable grid. With the very real threat of climate change facing our region, we need a strong commitment from ISO-NE to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and integrate renewables into our regional grid.