Posted on September 16th, 2016 by

The economist who conducted the study on the benefits of adding clean, affordable hydropower to the New England grid will speak about her research and the project’s benefits on Friday. The session is part of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) ongoing review of Northern Pass, and is an opportunity for the parties involved to ask questions of the project in an informal setting.

Julia Frayer, a Managing Director with London Economics, specializes in analysis related to energy infrastructure, such as electric generation facilities, natural gas-related infrastructure, and electricity transmission and distribution systems. She has also conducted extensive research in issues pertaining to cross-border transmission investment in North America. On Friday, Frayer will be available to answer questions about a study she conducted on the impacts of adding 1,090 megawatts of Canadian hydropower into the New England regional electric grid.

Key points about Northern Pass’ market benefits include:

  • Wholesale electricity market benefits resulting from Northern Pass are estimated to average $851 million to $866 million annually for New England and $81 million to $82.5 million annually for New Hampshire between 2019 and 2029
  • Retail electricity market benefits from the project are estimated to average $80 million annually in New Hampshire
  • Northern Pass will create a significant increase in New Hampshire’s Gross Domestic Product, estimated to be $2.2 billion over the project’s construction period and in the first 10 years of operation
  • Northern Pass will result in approximately 3.3 to 3.4 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions per year in New England

New England electricity rates are among the highest in the nation, due in part to overreliance on natural gas to generate electricity. According to the regional grid operator ISO New England, more than 45 percent of the region’s electric generating capacity consists of natural gas-fired power plants. That percentage is expected to grow in coming years as older power plants retire and more natural gas-fired plants come online. This over-reliance causes severe price volatility, particularly in winter when there is increased need for natural gas for home heating, driving up overall prices for New England. Northern Pass will diversify the region’s energy mix and ease the volatility experienced in recent years, which in turn will stabilize energy costs for the region.

Northern Pass will also help the region meet clean energy goals, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the Technical Sessions here.


Posted on September 16th, 2016 by

Posted In: Environment, ISO New England, Meetings, SEC