ISO New England to hand Justice Department documents

In response to a US Department of Justice civil investigation, the New England Independent System Operator reported it will hand over documents about its installed capability market that are considered confidential under New England Power Pool rules.


In response to a US Department of Justice civil investigation, the New England Independent System Operator (ISO) reported it will hand over documents about its installed capability market (ICAP) that are considered confidential under New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) rules.

On July 20, the Justice Department directed ISO New England to produce documents and respond to interrogatories about the market. In complying, the ISO said confidential information will be included in responses to Justice Department interrogatories. It said the interrogatories request information about individual participation in installed capability market bids, sales, and purchases for the period of April 1,1998 through March 30, 2000.

In addition, the ISO said, confidential information will be included in responses to requests for documents in possession of ISO New England that refer to ICAP activities from Jan. 1, 1999 through July 31, 2000. The ISO said it will be providing the bulk of its responses to the Justice Department Aug. 18, 2000, with any remaining responses as soon thereafter as possible.

The ISO said it will provide appropriate notice to the Justice Department of the confidential nature of the information provided. The ICAP market is one of six wholesale electricity markets in New England.

In filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to terminate ICAP earlier this year, ISO New England CEO Philip Pelligrino said the ICAP market was initially designed to help ensure long-term electric grid reliability by providing a price signal for the construction or retention of generating capacity in New England.

But the ISO contended bids submitted for significant amounts of installed capability in January 2000 and subsequent months represented a pattern of behavior consistent with an intentional or systematic effort to raise the market clearing prices.

ISO New England is responsible for the administration of the internet-based wholesale electricity marketplace and for managing the bulk generation and transmission systems for the region and administration of the NEPOOL Open Access Transmission Tariff.

NEPOOL is a voluntary association of about 180 companies engaged in the electric power business in New England. Founded in 1971 by the region�s regulated utilities, NEPOOL member companies constructed a single, regional network to direct operations of electric generation and transmission systems.

In response to FERC Orders 888 and 889 to create a competitive wholesale power exchange, NEPOOL filed with FERC in December 1996 for the establishment of an independent system operator for the region to administer transmission tariff and competitive wholesale electricity markets.

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