In our view, it is added evidence of the need for, and the benefit of, the Northern Pass project.
It is somewhat ironic that one of the key reasons cited for the closing of Vermont Yankee is the region’s increasing reliance on a single fuel, natural gas, to supply most of New England’s electricity. The fact is that the loss of Vermont Yankee’s 600 megawatts of energy will result in an even greater dependence on natural gas.
Recall that the operator of the region’s power grid, ISO-New England, has cited the risk of New England’s dependence on natural gas as the region’s number one challenge:
“…the region’s growing dependence on natural gas and its related issues have been a consistent concern during winter, when the priority for natural gas supplies goes to heating New England’s homes and businesses. But as the use of natural gas has increased, this dependence has become a major challenge for managing the electric grid throughout the year…”
ISO-NE 2013 Regional Electricity Outlook
The Northern Pass project will provide a measure of necessary diversity to our power grid, providing New Hampshire and all the New England states with 1,200 megawatts of clean, economical, renewable energy from hydroelectric power generation facilities. That is critical as the region looks to most effectively deal with the retirement of Vermont Yankee, as well as the loss of additional existing generation sources that are at risk of retirement.