As the merits of the Northern Pass Transmission project are discussed, its resultant reduction in carbon emissions is often highlighted. But, the project is also expected to have a positive impact on the overall reliability of the regional power grid.
In an informational briefing with media on Thursday, October 7, ISO New England reported that the energy landscape is poised for a transformation over the next few years, and significant improvements are needed for the New England Power System to help address some emerging challenges.
Among several factors that could dramatically change New England’s power grid are the low price of natural gas and the fact that a full quarter of the region’s electricity generation capacity is tied up in aging fossil-fueled plants that may soon retire, increasing the region’s dependence on natural gas.
ISO New England reports the increased demand in the region for natural gas for both heating and electricity needs could become a problem during times for peak energy demand when pipeline capacity becomes an issue. Meanwhile, new development of wind and solar power is also a challenge for the region’s grid, since integrating it and moving the power from remote areas to population centers pose problems.
The Associated Press quotes ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie as saying, “It’s sobering in the sense that there are a number of forces coming together that will cause a transition. The consequence is that you have to do something about that, and it requires investment in additional infrastructure.”
The Northern Pass Transmission Project will provide much needed diversity to our region – lessening our reliance on one primary energy source greatly benefiting our region.