On May 29, Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer of ISO New England, was a guest on the live New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) talk show, “The Exchange.” During the hour-long program, hosted by Laura Knoy, van Welie discussed challenges facing the New England power grid, including region’s increased dependence on natural gas to produce electricity, the upcoming retirement of power plants, and integrating more renewable energy sources like solar and wind. He also fielded questions from listeners who called in.
Entries in natural gas (35)
SPI News: One year after shift in Day-Ahead Energy Market timeline, ISO-NE reports positive results to FERC
Just over a year ago, changes accelerating the Day-Ahead Energy Market (DAM) and Reserve Adequacy Analysis (RAA) timelines went into effect in New England. ISO New England and NEPOOL proposed the revisions in an effort to better align the timing of the region’s wholesale electricity and natural gas markets with the goal of improved reliability of the New England power grid. In an order accepting an acceleration of the timelines, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also directed the ISO to submit a report on the impact the changes have had on operations one year after they went into effect. On May 23, the ISO published an Informational Report finding that the modifications have incrementally improved gas-electric coordination.
Oil inventory was key in maintaining power system reliability through colder-than-normal weather during winter 2013/2014
The frigid temperatures that gripped much of the nation this winter posed operational challenges to the New England power grid, led to spikes in natural gas and wholesale electricity prices, and further highlighted issues related to resource performance and the importance of a secure fuel supply. In light of these challenges, here and across the country, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hosted a Technical Conference on April 1, to hear from ISO New England, New York ISO, PJM Interconnection, Southwest Power Pool, Midcontinent ISO, California ISO, and other industry representatives about the impact of the cold weather on power system operations in different parts of the country.
Pipeline constraints and higher demand pushed up prices for both natural gas and power
Natural gas pipeline constraints and higher demand in New England caused the average price of natural gas to rise 76% in 2013, which in turn pushed the wholesale electric energy price up by 55% over 2012’s record low price. Natural gas is the predominant fuel used to generate the region’s electricity, at about 46% of total generation in 2013, so wholesale power prices tend to track the price of natural gas. Preliminary data show that the wholesale energy price averaged $56.06 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2013, while natural gas averaged $6.97 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). The wholesale energy price was 30% lower than the all-time high of $80.56/MWh during 2008.
The six New England governors have announced a cooperative regional initiative designed to expand energy infrastructure in New England.
ISO-NE CEO opinion article on New England’s natural gas dependency and its effect on grid reliability published in industry magazine
Transmission & Distribution World Magazine, a publication geared toward electric power industry professionals, recently published an opinion piece by Gordon van Welie, ISO New England’s CEO, on New England’s growing dependence on natural gas to fuel half of the region’s electricity needs, the reliability concerns associated this dependence, and the need for regional collaboration to ensure that New England consumers can continue to have reliable electricity in the future.