Blackouts Coming to NE USA As They Snuff Fossil Fuels

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New England faces blackouts as US Liquified Natural Gas supplies are sent to Europe following the cutoff of Russian gas. The Northeast relies on imports. They don’t have enough pipelines to carry US LNG and plan to make it worse as they rush to decarbonization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, severe cold spells in the Northeast could reduce the amount of gas available to generate electricity as more of it is burned to heat homes.

City street in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston

The grid relies on natural gas imports to supply New England with electricity during the winter months. ISO New England told the newspaper that an extremely cold winter could result in “rolling blackouts to keep electricity supply and demand in balance,” according to the report.

“The most challenging aspect of this winter is what’s happening around the world and the extreme volatility in the markets,” said Vamsi Chadalavada, the grid operator’s chief operating officer. “If you are in the commercial sector, at what point do you buy fuel?”

New England has limited pipeline capacity thanks to radical anti-fossil fuel policies. They rely on the spot market for natural gas supplies.

The Energy Information Administration says the ten-year-old Jones Act, a law restricting the movement of ships between U.S. ports, makes maritime delivery of domestic supplies nearly impossible. As a result, the region relies on gas produced abroad. Europe has an extreme demand. The Jones Act requires Americans to move the LNG on US ships.

The bigger problem is not building pipelines to get US LNG to New England. They blame the Jones Act when they could have US LNG if they weren’t banning carbon use.

The supplies needed to provide electricity to the US’ northeastern region – including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island – are in jeopardy.

New England residents are facing some of their largest electricity bills in years and are likely to pay even more this winter because of higher gas prices. Utilities purchase electricity from generators on the wholesale market and recoup those costs from customers.

NO PIPELINES TOO

New England won’t allow pipelines and think they can rely on windmills and solar.

ISO New England states that the New England States have set ambitious decarbonization goals to combat climate change over the next several decades. It will drive an unprecedented demand during the rapid electrification of heating and transportation. The grid can’t handle it.

New York doesn’t allow fracking, so Pennsylvania fracks our supplies, sucks them right out, and then charges New York for their natural gas. New York won’t allow more pipelines.

RUSH TO DECARBONIZATION MEANS THEY CAN’T SUPPLY WHAT THEY NEED

ISO New England’s Future Grid Reliability Study examines the region’s decarbonizing grid. This innovative study analyzed 32 scenarios, each a particular version of the 2040 grid, to identify key gaps and reliability issues. Though specific results for each scenario varied, the exclusive reliance on new wind, solar, and battery resources as a pathway toward a carbon-neutral economy will pose significant reliability challenges.

The specific order of events during this transition will impact reliability. Existing oil, propane, and other high-emission heating systems are likely to be electrified before natural gas heating, while simultaneously, the region’s fleet of electric vehicles rapidly expands. The resulting growth in demand for electricity will drive natural gas-fired resource use and continue the grid’s reliance on gas during peak winter periods in ways that will exceed current supply and pipeline capabilities.

The 2040 grid plan means they won’t have the supplies they need. The large amount of battery storage systems in the 2040 grid won’t be able to meet demand. Retirement of nuclear will strain the grid.

THE PLAN FOR 2022-23

According to the WSJ, LS Power Development LLC has been working to prepare its two gas-fired power plants in New England, one of which can run on oil as backup. Nathan Hanson, president of its LS Power Generation unit, said the company is filling the one plant’s backup tanks with oil and has the option to procure for the other plant an emergency supply of gas for use during peak demand.

“The grid overall is in a much tighter position,” he said. “If we get a sustained cold period in New England this winter, we’ll be in a very similar position as California was this summer.”


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