According to an article in the most recent New Hampshire Sunday News, electric customers across the state are beginning to feel the impact of rising natural gas prices as winter approaches and gas supplies tighten. From the Sunday News report:
“Rates we are seeing upcoming for this winter certainly reflect the market conditions,” Tom Frantz, director of the electric division for the PUC, said in testimony before a legislative oversight committee on Wednesday. He cited the rising price of natural gas, which fuels most power plants in the region, as a major factor.
With the region’s growing over-reliance on natural gas, news of rising prices this winter is not surprising. In our view, it is clear that New Hampshire and New England need fuel diversity to protect against the volatility of natural gas prices and reliability concerns during periods of peak demand.
Just this past July, New Hampshire saw volatile swings in energy market prices during a week-long heat wave when regional regulators, in an effort to keep the grid running, dispatched thousands of megawatts of rarely used oil-fired generation and called on customers to conserve energy.
This follows what was a turbulent winter for the grid with regulators reporting that the region came dangerously close to imposed blackouts due to constraints on the supply of natural gas that fuels most the region’s power plants.
This recent news underscores that now more than ever, we need new sources of clean, low cost power, like that of the Northern Pass, to diversify our power supply and secure our energy future.
The full Sunday News article is available here.