Grid operator feels congressional heat

CONNECTICUT - Connecticut's congressional delegation bolstered efforts to force the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate the New England electric grid operator's business conduct after it allegedly paid several power plants millions of dollars for electricity that was never produced.

The letter was sent in support of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's complaint filed this spring against Independent System Operator New England.

Blumenthal alleges, according to the delegation, "power plants in New York were paid more than $50 million over two years to supply electricity to households in New England but failed to fulfill their responsibilities as an electricity supplier.

"We write to express our strong concern about a possible wrongdoing to Connecticut's electricity ratepayers," the delegation said in its letter to FERC.

The Congress members then asked FERC to investigate the matter.

In a May 6 press release, ISO New England asserted that the payments were for capacity, not for the delivery of power and this was all a misunderstanding over the terms.

The grid operator said the power plants in question were never asked to send power, but agreed to be available to do so. And, under today's system those plants get paid for having that capacity ready.


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