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Electric Transmission Lines and Gas Pipelines are Needed Throughout New England

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 21, 2014

A lack of pipelines into New England is making natural gas costlier, pushing up wholesale electricity prices in the region by 55 percent last year. The news comes as no surprise as New England's six states are literally at the end of the nation's energy pipeline. What to do about it is another matter.

Some stakeholders are pinning their hopes on a proposal offered by the region's governors to fast-track construction of hundreds of miles of new natural gas pipelines and the construction of hundreds of miles of new transmission lines.

The average price of wholesale electric energy rose to $56.06 per megawatt hour, up from a historic low of $36.09 in 2012.

Higher fuel prices result in higher power prices. New England sits on the doorstep of the Marcellus Shale, which has increased supply and lowered natural gas prices significantly, at least in areas of the country that can access that gas. However, the limited pipeline capacity coming into New England means that sometimes natural-gas-fired generators have difficulty getting fuel, and that not only pushes up prices, it also creates a risk to reliable operation of the power system.

Natural gas is the predominant fuel used to generate the region's electricity, amounting to about 46 percent of generation in 2013. Wholesale power prices tend to track the price of natural gas.

The rising price undermines the attractiveness of natural gas, which is in high demand as an alternative to costlier heating oil.

But limited pipeline capacity into New England has made it difficult for some natural-gas-fired generators to get fuel, pushing up prices and risking reliable operation of the power system.

Pipeline constraints, particularly in winter when demand for home heating rises, have pushed up the average spot price for natural gas in New England to the highest in the country. Until new pipelines and equipment and new electric transmission lines are built, prices for natural gas and wholesale electricity are likely to remain volatile.

The higher electricity prices due to the cost of gas should prod officials to switch from fossil fuels, particularly using wind power that can capitalize on gusty New England winters.

rep-am.com

Rhode Island Power Company Updates Electricity Delivery System

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Many power companies and the infrastructure that delivers electricity needs updating and upgrading. The Rhode Island Reliability Project is one of these projects. Nearly 750 power line poles have been installed thus far and National Grid is calling this the half-way point in the construction schedule of the Rhode Island Reliability Project. This project will strengthen the reliability of Rhode Island's power grid by increasing its capacity and allowing National Grid the flexibility to deliver electricity where it's needed when usage is at its highest.

The project includes the reconstruction of existing transmission lines and the addition of a new transmission line within an existing 21-mile corridor. More than 300 miles of power lines and nearly 750 new poles are being installed along with the installation of new equipment at substations in Rhode Island.

Transmission lines carry electricity from power plants to local distribution systems where the voltage levels are reduced in stages to provide electricity to homes and businesses. The new transmission line will enable more electricity to flow into the state as needed to meet customers' needs.

Your customers depend on your ability to deliver electricity to them every minute of every day. For electric line construction or when you need to improve the performance and reliability of the regional electric transmission system, contact ElecComm.

Excerpts from Read Media


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