E&E News - Oil to the rescue in New England's blizzard

January 5, 2018 – E&E News

Oil to the rescue in New England's blizzard

By: Peter Behr and Rod Kuckro

At 2:09 p.m. yesterday, as New England's grid operators strained to cope with a blizzard and wind blasts resulting from the "bomb cyclone," one of the region's major power plants, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., suddenly shut down…

Read the full article here: https://www.eenews.net/energywire/2018/01/05/stories/1060070173

…The New England Winter Reliability Program is coming to a close. It has been a success, notes energy columnist Housley Carr, writing in the RBN Energy blog, with owners of 86 duel-fired generating units participating in the stockpiling program.

After this summer, the region will switch to a "pay-for-performance" system in which generators receive a base payment for providing generating capacity and either a bonus if they exceed that during high demand periods, noted Carr, or a financial penalty if they deliver less than promised.

"This new approach will put the onus on gas-fired generators to either arrange for firm gas pipeline capacity or, more likely, stockpile fuel oil if they are dual-fueled, or LNG (liquefied natural gas) if they are not," Carr wrote. "Some generators may simply take their chances — that is, rake in those base payments for generating capacity, bet that it will be a mild winter and risk having to pay a big penalty if a major cold snap happens and leaves them unable to meet their power-supply commitments."

"The good news for New England is that the build-out of new gas-fired generating capacity may be winding down and that additional gas pipeline capacity into the region is under development," Carr added.