At the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association’s Annual Energy Forum this week Gordon van Welie, President of ISO New England, continued to cite our dependence on natural gas as the region’s “highest-priority strategic risk.” In his presentation, Mr. van Welie noted that a recent ISO study found that 8,300 megawatts of generating capacity are at risk of retirement by 2020 and that new capacity will be needed to cover a 6,000 megawatt shortfall in the future.
These comments follow more recent warnings from ISO that our growing over-reliance on natural gas as a fuel for generating electricity is a major challenge for the region. In a July column in Commonwealth magazine, van Welie, noted “It’s evident that generating electricity with natural gas has its benefits. But becoming heavily reliant on just one fuel poses challenges to the long-term stability of the power system.”
Meeting these future challenges requires planning and action now. Northern Pass represents an ideal solution for New Hampshire and the region by not only diversifying our energy portfolio, but also lowering our energy costs and reducing carbon emissions, with no customer subsidy required.