“Massachusetts officials thought they were close to securing future supplies of green energy by piping in hydroelectric power from Canada,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“But a week after Massachusetts said yes to the $1.6 billion project, neighboring New Hampshire said no, jeopardizing the 192-mile transmission line that would bring in the electricity through the Granite State.”
“The rejection earlier this month marked the latest example of how hard it is to build large energy infrastructure in New England, which is pursuing aggressive renewable power goals and sometimes strains to meet current, pressing electricity needs,” says the Journal.
“The six-state region—where electricity costs are 56% above the national average—is heavily dependent on natural gas fired power after years of losing older, uneconomic coal, oil and nuclear plants to retirements. Gas is also in high demand for heating area homes,” according to the WSJ.
“Yet New England sometimes has difficulty importing enough natural gas to satisfy its needs due to a shortage of pipelines, including conduits to the cheap natural gas being produced less than 400 miles away from Boston, in Pennsylvania, where shale drilling has helped trigger a boom.”
“’The not-in-my-backyard concept is extraordinarily powerful in New England,’ said Chris Lafakis, the head energy economist at Moody’s Analytics.”
“New England turned to burning oil for electricity during a two week winter cold snap around Christmas and New Year’s, using about 2 million barrels—more than twice the oil burned in all of 2016, according to ISO New England, the organization that runs the region’s power grid. The strain was so acute that the North American arm of French energy company Engie SA recently brought a shipment of liquefied natural gas—including fuel that originated about 5,000 miles away in Russia—to Everett, Mass., from Europe,” says the Journal.
“ISO New England warned in a February report that without some new infrastructure, ‘keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition.’ With more power plants set to retire in coming years, ISO New England said the grid is likely to be at risk of fuel shortages and rolling blackouts.”
Click here to read the original article from the Wall Street Journal.