Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
As president and CEO of ISO New England, Gordon van Welie has his feet planted firmly on each of two sides of a cultural divide. First, as a transmission system operator, van Welie must keep the lights on and the wires humming—a conservative agenda dictated by long-established engineering concepts where even a moment’s failure can and does lead to political repercussions.
At the same time, however, he must run a regional market—an ongoing experiment in freewheeling capitalism in an industry fraught with more long-term uncertainty than perhaps any other.
Fortnightly: I’m hearing through the grapevine that your recent auction in the forward capacity market was “hijacked” by a huge wave of demand-side bidding. My sources tell me these bids pushed the price so low that some power producers—hard asset owners—are left asking, “What’s in it for me?”