The recent announcement that Entergy Corp. will shut down its Vermont Yankee nuclear power station has renewed concerns about natural gas prices in New England, according to an article on MassLive.com.
"The demise of Vermont Yankee and the predicted demise of the region's coal-fired plants, including Mount Tom Power Station in Holyoke, will only make the region more dependent on natural gas for electricity, home heating and industry," the article states.
Fifty-two percent of the electricity that New England consumes is generated by natural gas, the same fuel many New England homes and businesses use to fire boilers, heat homes and run kitchen ranges. But pipeline capacity to bring that gas into New England has not grown, the article states.
"The winter months are particularly tough," Daniel Howard, general manager of the Westfield Gas & Electric Department, told MassLive. "The pipelines are oversubscribed during these peak periods. It's not something that is going to fix itself."
During cold snaps last winter, New Englanders saw natural gas prices spike by about 500 percent, according to MassLive. Howard said natural gas prices are already double what they were last year with no home heating load. "All that gets passed on to power generators and residential gas customers," Howard said.
To read the MassLive article, click here.