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The 2008 Regional System Plan released by Holyoke, Mass.-based ISO New England Inc. forecasts that the region is likely to have sufficient capacity to meet electricity demand through 2014, but significant challenges remain for the region.

The board of directors of ISO New England - the operator of the region's bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets - approved the 2008 Regional System Plan (RSP08). The 181-page planning document gives a status report on the region's power system, defines areas where improvements are needed, and outlines challenges and opportunities the region can expect through 2017.

"This report points the way to actions New England's stakeholders and policy-makers can take to ensure that the region has a power system that continues to provide a reliable supply of competitively priced electricity while meeting environmental goals," says Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England.
The document concludes that if all the 34,077 MW of resources procured in New England's first Forward Capacity Auction in February continue to be available in future auctions, it is likely the region will have sufficient capacity through 2014. RSP08 reports that peak demand for electricity in New England is projected to be somewhat lower than the previous 10-year demand forecast, largely due to lower growth in the long-run forecast of personal income.

The report shows continuing regional progress in making necessary system improvements, including significant transmission upgrades required for system reliability and rapidly increasing use of demand resources that can help lessen the need for new infrastructure. In addition, the report identifies issues still to be addressed, including additional transmission upgrades to meet reliability requirements, the challenges of integrating large amounts of wind and demand resources into system operations, the continuing need for a reliable and diverse fuel supply, and the question of how to ensure that environmental goals are met.

For more information, visit iso-ne.com/trans/rsp/index.html.

SOURCE: ISO New England Inc.

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