Library filed under Transmission from Connecticut
“While you may need transmission upgrades from time to time, that doesn’t mean that you should give the utilities a blank check on the scope of the construction costs,” Dornbos said. Blumenthal said Hartford-based Eversource Energy has been a significant beneficiary of the escalation of transmission costs.
New England’s most populous states are looking to tap Canadian dams and rivers for more of their electricity, a change that officials say would help cut greenhouse-gas emissions and help keep some of the nation’s highest power prices in check.
There is a complex, unwieldy, interconnected morass of concerns to consider. A top one is the rate structure that resulted in the large increases PURA approved earlier this month for Connecticut Light and Power. Others are the projected power crunch created by inadequate natural gas pipelines and the shutdown of several major power plants. There are questions about how best to integrate individual power systems, how to make electricity less polluting; and how to help utilities re-invent what they do.
Building more electricity transmission into New England isn't about an "energy crisis." It's about economics, jobs, corporate profit, failure to make the small fixes that add up, failure to do detailed analysis, failure to resist stampede crisis mentality, and lots of other things.
The six New England governors, working with the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCO) and regional grid operators, have launched a process under which Northern Pass partners may be able to acquire substantial ratepayer funding and eminent domain powers for the controversial plan to bring hydroelectricity from Quebec into New England.
Federal regulators are being asked to resolve a regional rift over who should pay for new power lines needed to carry renewable electricity to southern New England. Vermont has joined New Hampshire and Rhode Island to oppose the cost-sharing formula being promoted by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine. ...the more populated states are trying to offload much of the cost of the new power projects on other states in New England.
"We think that it is likely there will be significant additional transmission investment needed to maintain reliability and improve access to these clean, intermittent power sources," Lee Olivier, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in an earnings call Friday. "But it is too early to estimate how much that additional investment will be and exactly when it will occur."
Energy-efficiency programs in the six New England states have proved so effective at reducing demand that we can put off building a quarter-billion dollars' worth of planned upgrades to electric transmission towers and lines, according to the agency that runs the region's power grid.
A federal order issued last fall is intended to make it easier to construct transmission lines, costly and controversial projects that are notoriously tough to build.
Power companies in New England are beginning work on a nearly half-billion-dollar plan to upgrade the region’s electric grid to make way for appliances that can shut down to reduce electric bills, improve energy conservation, and connect to wind and solar energy. The first step is replacing decades-old meters with so-called smart meters that detail the use of computers, appliances, TVs, lights, and other household equipment.