This article describes the realities we face today in order to insure reliable electricity for consumers in New England.
Here are my key takeaways:
- This year’s peak experience in many ways highlights how the regional power grid is changing and how far it has to go to fully decarbonize.
- Peaks have out-sized importance because the region needs enough power plants to meet demand when demand is at its highest point.
- [RJB this statement in the article is misleading; peak demand no longer means peak consumption] Lowering the peak is beneficial since it means the region can get by with fewer power plants.
- [ RJB he's describing the yin-yang effect of BTMPV] During the afternoon, the behind-the-meter solar installations produce the most power. As the sun begins to set, however, solar power production falls off and the region becomes more and more dependent on large-scale power generators.
- The regional power grid handled Monday’s surge in electricity demand easily, but in doing so it relied primarily on power generated by natural gas (70 percent), nuclear (16 percent), hydro (8 percent), renewables (5 percent), and even a bit of oil and coal.
- If the region’s power grid doesn’t go green, the shift to electricity won’t pay many environmental dividends. That’s why the state is pursuing the purchase of offshore wind and hydro-electricity from Canada, to help reduce reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels. [RJB more can be done to incentivize investments in green power for Massachusetts by enabling prosumers to engage in a wholesale market capacity exchange to meet State Energy goals]