Even under the heavy blanket of summer humidity, we can’t stop talking about last winter. The lessons learned just a few months ago about the vulnerability of our electrical grid were front and center at a forum in Manchester last Monday. The headlines from that event sum up the regional situation in stark fashion:
The implications of this crisis on New England’s economy are far reaching. As one panelist pointed out, the cost of energy in the winter months is dangerously high and, “We just can’t allow New England to become an economy that only operates nine months out of the year.”
Yet, as efforts to relieve this strain try to gain traction, the situation continues to worsen.
Federal regulators are now investigating possible price manipulation in the impending closure of the Brayton Point Power Plant in Massachusetts – a retirement that has the potential to significantly increase electricity prices in New England.
Construction on a new natural-gas fired power plant in Salem, Massachusetts is facing another potential setback, delaying completion of the facility and possibly bringing about rolling blackouts to areas of New England.
At every step, opponents are trying to block a plan for a new natural gas pipeline in New England. Even the governors’ attempt to expand the region’s infrastructure and relieve supply constraints is being questioned by certain environmental and industry groups.
Energy officials believe a market-based “solution has not come forward” to solve this crisis. What’s more, potential solutions that have come forward continue to get sidetracked by professional opposition groups. The clock is ticking and action is needed to keep our grid—and our economy—on track.
No relief from New England energy costs in near future
(New Hampshire Union Leader)
New England leaders take on impending electric crisis
Our View: A costly power play with Brayton Point?
(Taunton Daily Gazette)
Industry group rejects plan that would help ensure Salem power plant’s financing
(Boston Business Journal)
Energy: the most important issue affecting real estate
(New Hampshire Business Review)
New Englanders at Odds Over Proposal for Power, Gas Lines