Is New England facing an energy crisis? Today, in the second of three parts about closing Vermont Yankee, NEI looks at the looming energy shortages in the far Northeast.
Along with Vermont Yankee, nearly 1,400 megawatts of baseload electric generating capacity will retire in New England this year, including a 750-megawatt coal- and petroleum-fired power plant in Massachusetts.But New England is using a lot of natural gas these days, right?
New England has significantly increased its reliance on natural gas for electricity in the past few years. The increase has contributed to pipeline transportation congestion in the region’s natural gas market, particularly in the winter when it competes for heating homes and businesses.Which can lead to, indeed, did lead to:
These supply constraints contributed to extreme spikes in spot natural gas and electricity prices in New England during the winters of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. During the severe cold snap of January 2014’s polar vortex, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. found issues of fuel deliverability, natural gas pipeline outages, gas service interruptions, and frozen electricity and gas equipment.It’s a provocative piece. By all means, take a look.