We are still more than two weeks away from the end of the year, but some are already declaring 2015 the year of energy. Looking around New England, one can see why. After repeated calls from business leaders, and warnings from power companies, the region is seeing a number of energy proposals come forward.
Some would be located in Maine, some in Vermont, and some in New Hampshire. These projects would expand natural gas pipelines or deliver hydropower and wind energy via transmission lines. In Massachusetts, policy makers are pushing for more incentives to get at least one of these projects built.
New England’s energy challenges require a comprehensive solution. Regardless of which projects get final approval it is clear that the region’s energy future depends on all states working together, and that Northern New England will play an important role.
(The links below are referenced above)
2015 predictions: The year of energy
Electric Light & Power, 10 December 2014
In 2015, utilities will shift their perspective on solar and other alternative sources of energy, and it won’t happen just because of new regulations. They’ll have to offer these resources; if they don’t, they will lose customers to independent renewables providers.
Economic Development Council in favor of increased natural gas capacity in New England
Springfield Republican, 9 December 2014
A shortage of natural gas to fuel power plants, heat homes and power industry could stifle the economy in Western Massachusetts, according to a position statement issued Tuesday by the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts.
Utility leaders: We need natural gas pipeline to contain electricity prices
Concord Monitor, 11 December 2014
“It’s pretty simple. We’ve got renewables, we’ve got all kinds of solutions, but at the end of the day, if you want to knock these prices down, if you want to buffer them for the long term, a natural gas pipeline has got to come into the state,” said Daniel Saad, president of Liberty Utilities.
New plan to join wind power with hydropower enters the mix of New England energy proposals
Nashua Telegraph, 10 December 2014
These two separate projects, each of which would cost at least a billion dollars and not be ready until 2019 at the earliest, are part of the large-scale debate over how New England should deal with spiking winter electricity rates, a function of the region’s dependence on natural gas.
National Grid joins hydropower rush
Boston Globe, 9 December 2014
National Grid has partnered with the electricity transmission developer Anbaric Transmission to propose an undersea cable that would bring Maine wind power and Canadian hydroelectricity to Massachusetts.
Natural gas pipeline path through New Hampshire formally introduced to the feds
Concord Monitor, 8 December 2014
The proposed project would expand the natural gas infrastructure of Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to help meet the Northeast’s growing energy needs, the company said.
Firm files for power line under lake
Valley News, 9 December 2014
A company that wants to bring Canadian power to New England through a new line under Lake Champlain formally asked the Vermont Public Service Board on Monday for approval.
Patrick makes a push to help hydropower
Boston Globe, 9 December 2014
Patrick’s top environmental aides are working feverishly on new rules that could compel electric utilities to buy a certain amount of energy from Canada’s big hydro plants.
Even Before Long Winter Begins, Energy Bills Send Shivers in New England
New York Times, 13 December 2014
These latest increases are salt in the wound. New England already pays the highest electricity rates of any region in the 48 contiguous states because it has no fossil fuels of its own and has to import all of its oil, gas and coal.