The non-profit known as ISO-NE, which regulates the electric energy market in New England, has resisted starting the transition from fossil fuels to wind and solar energy. While ISO has a 12-person Board of Directors, all of its major decisions must be ratified by an advisory body called the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL).

Unfortunately, NEPOOL uses a voting system that allows the fossil fuel power companies and the region’s big utilities to dominate decision making. Not only do consumers have little input, the six New England governors and state legislatures are not represented at all. This was done so the organization would not be “political.”

The result is an administrative organization that is a classic example of “agency capture.” This is a fancy way of saying that a regulatory agency meant to oversee private companies has instead become dominated by those companies. The New England electric grid is run solely for the profits of the fossil fuel power companies and the big utilities.

The results are shocking. In 2020 the New England energy grid through ISO was:

52.5% Natural Gas
27.0% Nuclear Power
8.1% Hydro-electric
3.8% Wind
3.2% Refuse
2.4% Wood
2.2% Solar
0.8% Other

(Resource Mix, ISO-NE website,

ISO uses a rule known as MOPR to keep out Wind and Solar power. For example, in 2019, ISO
held an auction to bring new energy capacity into the grid in 2022. More than 2,600 Mega Watts
(MW) of natural gas, energy efficiency, and imported energy (from outside of New England,
usually hydropower from big dams) won contracts. In the auction, ISO also awarded contracts
for 145 MW of renewable energy generation – just 5% of the new energy headed for the grid.
(ISO Press Release, Feb. 6, 2019)

Come to Holyoke on Sunday, November 14 and tell ISO – It is Time for Renewable Action!

Sign up for updates