New England’s electric grid operator says the controversy over ratepayer cash paid to power generators, who are accused of providing nothing in return, is due to a misunderstanding.
Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal first raised concerns this week, saying his office was investigating paperwork from grid operator ISO New England that showed nearly $86m had been paid to generators in an agreement to provide peak power on demand. Blumenthal said it was apparent that despite the payments, on more than 100 occasions, the power had not been provided when requested. But Erin O’Brien of ISO New England says that’s not the case, and that the power generators did what was asked of them.
"In New England resources are paid for providing capacity, which is the availability of those resources to be called upon to produce electricity by the ISO. In this instance these resources provided capacity but were never called upon to produce electricity."
ISO says it will clarify its position in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority. But Attorney General Blumenthal says he’s still not convinced.
"It is a bizarre, confusing, virtually incoherent statement which in no way dispels the basic fact that $86m dollars in ratepayer funds were squandered on generators that never delivered power."
The Attorney General says he’ll continue to investigate, and he says he’s still calling for the return of the funds.