In its recently published "Progress of New England's Restructured Electric Industry and Competitive Markets: The Benefits of ISOs and RTOs," ISO-New England ("ISO-NE") lauds the long-term performance of its power market. Since the market's inception in 1999, New England wholesale electricity prices have declined by 5.7 percent, after adjustments for fuel costs, and the fuel-adjusted price decline experienced from 2001-2004 was 11 percent. Also during this time, ISO-NE estimates that more than $9 billion was invested in new power plants, and up to $4 billion was invested in transmission facilities. These improvements have significantly increased the region's reliability and competition, according to the report.
The report notes significant environmental improvements as well, including the use of more efficient gas-fired generators, which has reduced annual carbon dioxide emissions by up to 6%, nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 32%, and sulfur dioxide emissions by up to 48% from 2000 to 2004. ISO-NE estimates that the additional generation, along with the competitive market incentives to improve generator availability, enhance operations, and make infrastructure investment more efficient, has led to a wholesale market cost reduction of approximately $700 million annually (after adjusting for fuel costs), demonstrating that these markets bring significant benefits to consumers. [NEW MATTER]