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Reliance on gas, renewables comes with risks, says grid operator

Although there are benefits to the way the system's underlying resources are evolving, the emphasized energy sources are more dependent on external conditions, van Welie said, as natural gas must be delivered just in time for use, and solar and wind power are dependent on weather.

BOSTON -- The energy grid in New England has a "strong foundation," but its growing reliance on natural gas and renewable sources increases the risk of not being able to meet the region's demands during the winter, according to the organization that operates the system.

Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO-New England, said in a Wednesday "State of the Grid" conference call that he is "incrementally more concerned over last year" about insufficient infrastructure.

Although there are benefits to the way the system's underlying resources are evolving, the emphasized energy sources are more dependent on external conditions, van Welie said, as natural gas must be delivered just in time for use, and solar and wind power are dependent on weather.

Those sources contrast with traditional on-site oil tanks and nuclear power.

"While they will bring benefits, the evolving resource mix will also intensify risks that there will not be enough energy to meet demands during the winter," van Welie said. "The risk of insufficient energy is likely to expand to other times of year as well."

ISO-New England, which operates the grid independent of companies... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

BOSTON -- The energy grid in New England has a "strong foundation," but its growing reliance on natural gas and renewable sources increases the risk of not being able to meet the region's demands during the winter, according to the organization that operates the system.

Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO-New England, said in a Wednesday "State of the Grid" conference call that he is "incrementally more concerned over last year" about insufficient infrastructure.

Although there are benefits to the way the system's underlying resources are evolving, the emphasized energy sources are more dependent on external conditions, van Welie said, as natural gas must be delivered just in time for use, and solar and wind power are dependent on weather.

Those sources contrast with traditional on-site oil tanks and nuclear power.

"While they will bring benefits, the evolving resource mix will also intensify risks that there will not be enough energy to meet demands during the winter," van Welie said. "The risk of insufficient energy is likely to expand to other times of year as well."

ISO-New England, which operates the grid independent of companies in the marketplace, suggested in January 2018 that a two-week cold spell posed a significant chance of depleting fuel tanks.

The company does not oppose the shift toward different kinds of energy sources, but rather warned that proper strategies must be employed to ensure backups are in place.

Van Welie also stressed that he wants to see implementation of a real-time "fuel gauge" system.

"We don't have a regional fuel gauge that indicates how close we are getting to the bottom of the fuel tank," he said. "What we want to do is share that information with the market as a whole and furthermore have the market put a price on that so that if somebody's got fuel today and doesn't need to burn it because they can earn more tomorrow, that's a better outcome for the region."

This is a developing story.


Source: http://www.lowellsun.com/br...

FEB 21 2019
http://www.windaction.org/posts/49471-reliance-on-gas-renewables-comes-with-risks-says-grid-operator
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