Lawmakers: Improve electricity capacity projection methods

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's congressional delegation is calling on federal regulators to improve the methods they use for projecting electricity capacity and setting energy prices across New England.

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman C. Bay on Tuesday.

In the letter the lawmakers say the operator of New England's power grid insufficiently takes into account so-called distributed generation sources of energy — such as solar panels on consumers' homes — when tallying the region's future energy needs.

The lawmakers said neglecting those sources of renewable energy inflates the region's projected capacity shortfall and drives up the amount of capacity the region needs to buy at auction, resulting in unnecessarily high prices for residents.

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