Posted on April 14th, 2014 by

Expanding clean energy. Making our power grid more reliable. We’ve seen numerous proposals come forward aimed at achieving these goals and addressing the region’s energy crisis. A look at headlines from last week, however, reveals that making these proposals a reality is not easy.

Two proposals now being considered would “socialize” energy infrastructure costs across New England by adding a surcharge onto everyone’s monthly electric bills. One proposal, which has the support of all six New England governors, would use the surcharge to fund new transmission lines connecting to renewable energy projects and new natural gas pipelines. The second proposal, which is now before the Massachusetts legislature, would require that state utilities buy a certain amount of renewable energy, including Canadian hydropower. To help make this happen, electric customers would pay part of the cost of bringing that power to the area.

winter average temps

Several extended periods of frigid weather tested New England’s infrastructure, putting high demand on natural gas for heat and power generation, leading to volatility in the electricity markets. Souce: ISO-New England

New Hampshire and New England are in an energy crisis.  This past winter exposed our vulnerability to how we get our electricity, relying heavily on natural gas to generate our power while lacking the ability to bring enough gas into the region.  The Independent System Operator that manages New England’s grid has warned about future struggles to keep the lights on, especially as aging power plants retire in the coming months and years.

New England has been trying to fix the problem by building new energy projects, but at the same time, there is opposition to every kind of proposal. Controversy surrounds wind projects in New Hampshire and the Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. The outcry over a proposed natural gas pipeline in Southern New England is growing, as well. Compromise on these projects is proving hard to achieve.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to reach the common goal shared by a majority of New Hampshire residents:  finding new sources of renewable energy.  This was indicated in a recent independent survey. We are confident that a compromise is achievable in New Hampshire and that it can include Northern Pass.

(The links below are referenced in this communication)

LNG official says no need to build pipeline
(New Hampshire Union Leader)

New England power generators oppose Mass. proposed clean energy mandates
(eenews.net)

Regional power play begins to take shape
(CommonWealth Magazine)

Has a power crisis arrived in New Hampshire?
(New Hampshire Business Review)

Letter to ISO-New England
(House Committee on Energy and Commerce)

Federal regulators aim to fix power markets by next winter
(eenews.net)

Solar, wind producers fight for piece of state’s clean-energy plans
(The Salem News)

Legislator calls for closing of Groton wind farm
(New Hampshire Union Leader)

Alexandria support for wind farm not strong, officials say
(New Hampshire Union Leader)

Concerns Raised Over Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline
(WAMC – Northeast Public Radio)

Natural gas line extension through Hollis has some people upset
(Nashua Telegraph)


Posted on April 14th, 2014 by

Posted In: Uncategorized