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New England Will Have To Choose Between Heat and Power

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


Political correctness on energy and opposition to pipelines has now led to a situation for New England where it will have to choose between heat and power.

There is a coming shortage of natural gas to fire electric power plants in wintertime in New England. So says an analysis presented last week to the ISO New England Planning Advisory Committee. It was totally predictable, of course, and the wages of political correctness on energy.

ISO New England Inc. is the independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that manages the electric grid for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The study presented last week shows that there will be enough natgas reaching New England in summer for the foreseeable future, but in the winters of 2025 and 2030, almost every planning scenario shows New England will only have half (50%) of the gas it needs to operate electric generating plants.

New England

The future New England without more pipelines to bring in natural gas?

This is seriously bad news for New Englanders — and something we previously predicted. New England’s steadfast opposition to new pipelines will have a real, very tangible effect. They get to choose between no gas for heating, or no gas for electricity: Heat or power? That’s the choice brought about the insanity of Massachusetts and New York State opposition to pipelines. Here’s the story from RTO Insider:

New England will have only enough natural gas capacity to supply about half of its gas-fired generation in winters 2025 and 2030 in most scenarios, according to a New England Power Pool analysis presented to the ISO-NE Planning Advisory Committee on Thursday.

Mark Babula, ISO-NE system planning manager for resource adequacy, said the study showed the region will have sufficient pipeline and LNG capacity to supply all the gas generation with capacity obligations during the summer. But in the winter — when generators must defer to firm gas heating customers — the region won’t have sufficient capacity under most circumstances to run all the gas generation that could be economically dispatched.

“When we’re talking about dispatch, what we’re looking at from the natural gas system perspective is meeting the contractual requirements to the [local distribution companies],” said Michael Henderson, ISO-NE director of regional planning and coordination. “That then gives you some extra gas available that can potentially serve natural gas-fired generation. It’s just different looks at how much natural gas-fired generation can be brought on.”

The NEPOOL study considered six natural gas system topologies and six “resource expansion” scenarios to determine whether there is sufficient “spare” gas for electric generation after meeting all firm customers’ needs:

Installed Capacity: All gas-fired generation with capacity supply obligations — a summer focus that represents the upper band of gas consumption by the electric sector. Even under the minimum gas infrastructure case, there is enough spare gas to fuel all gas-fired generation in the summers of 2025 and 2030, but there is only enough spare gas in the winters to serve about half of the gas-fired installed capacity.

Dispatched Capacity: Gas-fired dispatched capacity requirements on the winter peak gas day, when only a portion of installed gas capacity is needed to serve electric demand.

Energy Generation: Whether there is enough gas to satisfy the maximum hourly electric energy production by gas-fired generation on the summer and winter peak gas-days. The analysis found sufficient gas for all summer generation needs. For winter 2025, however, there would be sufficient gas for only 6.8 to 9.6 GW of generation, representing 42 to 59% of the projected installed capacity. By winter 2030, the gas could run between 5.3 and 10.1 GW — as little as one-third of the installed capacity.

Only one of six resource expansion scenarios (“Renewables Plus”) meets the dispatched capacity and energy generation requirements for winters 2025 and 2030, even assuming the “maximum gas infrastructure” — reflecting pipeline expansions, increased peak shaving by LDC, and LNG from offshore and ENGIE’s Distrigas terminal in Everett, Mass.

Editor’s Note: This is a remarkable analysis that portrays the abysmal dysfunctional nature of Massachusetts and New York politics, where demagoguery and pandering to the superficial preferences of large blocs of urban voters out-of-touch with any aspect of energy production rule the day. The comprehensive 83-page slide presentation behind the analysis may be found here and the following slide (highlighting added) says it all:

New England

Think about those numbers. There is expected to be a minimum shortage of 7,780 MW of power in 2030 and as much as a 20,458 MW shortage. It takes roughly 7,620 cubic feet of natural gas to generate one megawatt of power or 156 million cubic feet to eliminate the maximum expected deficiency New England faces.

That represents roughly one-quarter of the total capacity of the Constitution Pipeline that New York has put on hold with its politically correct abuse of the FERC process. The Constitution would, of course, help serve New England. These are the real costs to unaware New Englanders of the political shenanigans of Governor Corruptocrat, not to mention Massachusetts Senators Market and Warren (the king and queen of demagogues) who both opposed new pipelines in that state. They will have to choose between heat and power.

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7 thoughts on “New England Will Have To Choose Between Heat and Power

  1. Don’t confuse them with the facts. Just reassure them that the aging solar panels on their roofs will see them through those cold months. ‍♀️ SMH.

    P.S. It’s “led” not “lead” by the way. Not the heavy metal, you want here.

  2. Would anyone Know if ISO NE could use LNG instead of Pipelines? Cost analysis from 2015 Your 2030 analysis is 13 years out and if really true? Price of NG would then make building in 2030 economic sense — 2017 to early to tell.
    Old System, New Solution?: Liquefied Natural Gas Could Be Pipeline Alternative
    In fact, operators of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, which currently brings gas from Canada to the region, recently filed for permission to reverse the flow. That would enable the pipeline to carry cheap shale gas from Pennsylvania, through Massachusetts, back to Canada, and perhaps beyond.

    “It’s very funny,” Scaraggi said. “When you add up all of the capacity they want to bring into New England it’s multiples of the capacity that we actually use in New England. I don’t know how you do that. So that’s classic overbuild.”

    And Scaraggi says overcapacity, underutilized pipeline can cost big bucks to consumers. Rather than spend billions of dollars on new infrastructure, he advocates using the current LNG system of ships, trucks, storage tanks and pipelines to serve the region. He says it’s already paid for and can be shut down more easily, as renewables replace fossil fuels.

    • LPG makes a lot of sense at this point.
      It might cost a little more to the consumer for a while but it could eliminate a lot of controversy .
      After a while natural competition would help lower prices to consumers and increase prices to mineral owners by eliminating added pipeline expenses!
      Over land transport in lpg powered trucks would be a win win for all consumers. Not just wall street ! Besides, why export when that same ship could just cruise up the coast ?

        • Ken did ya ever see a pipe line break ? One broke near a house in this county and flash fried a house in 2 minutes! Thankfully no one was home at the time.
          This area has had some compressor stations blow too !

  3. Is the analysis ignoring dual fuel capabilities of the gas fired gen? How much of the gas capacity can be covered by oil?

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