Energy & Environment

Without it, businesses cannot operate productively, hospitals and schools cannot provide essential services, and residents cannot depend on the amenities of daily life in our modern society.  While electricity is a basic necessity, it is also a commodity – a product that is produced, sold, and transported for profit by hundreds of companies. And like most commodities, electricity is sold on both a wholesale and retail level.

Some key facts about the New England energy market:

  • The region has a population 14 million with 6.5 million households and businesses.
  • These households and businesses are served by 13 interconnections to power systems in New York & Canada.
  • There are more than 8,000 miles of transmission lines in the six New England states.
  • The region’s approximately 350 generators have more than 30,000 MW of generating capacity.
  • There are more than 400 buyers & sellers in the markets.

The New England Council’s Energy and Environment Committee’s ongoing work on a variety of issues and policies helps to ensure that New England’s citizens and businesses continue to have access to affordable and secure energy resources. The Council’s Energy and Environment Committee provides a forum for New England’s energy and environment communities to discuss public policy priorities for the region.  The NEC staff contact for the Energy & Environment Committee is Sean Malone.  Below are some of the issues the Committee has worked on in recent months.

Regional Energy Forum – Spring 2018

On Friday, April 27, 2018, The New England Council will host its third Regional Energy Forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH.  The forum will feature keynote remarks from ISO New England President and CEO Gordon van Welie, who will discuss the ISO’s recent report assessing the region’s operational fuel security.  Mr. van Welie’s keynote remarks will be followed by a panel discussion exploring possible solutions to address the region’s energy challenges.  The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., with a buffet lunch served at 11:30 and the program beginning at noon.  Click here to register or contact Sean Malone for more information.

Report on New England Energy Landscape

 On October 24, 2016, The New England Council released a new report, “The New England Energy Landscape: History, Challenges & Outlook.” The report was designed to provide businesses, policymakers, and other stakeholders a comprehensive overview of the history of the New England energy market, the current challenges in meeting the region’s energy needs, and an outlook for how the regions energy landscape could evolve in the coming years. The report was researched and written for The New England Council by Peter J. Howe, a respected long-time business reporter for The Boston Globe and New England Cable News who is now a Senior Advisor at Denterlein Worldwide in Boston.  In compiling the report, over 30 energy companies and organizations representing all facets of the energy industry in New England were interviewed and consulted for data and feedback.

The report was distributed broadly to stakeholders and policymakers throughout the New England region and in Washington, DC, including all New England Council members, members of Congress and their staffs, state legislators and their staffs, Governor’s offices, state energy agencies, and a variety of other energy industry organizations.  In addition, on November 14, 2016, the Energy & Environment Committee met with the report’s author, Peter Howe, for a discussion of the report’s key messages, as well as the Council’s goals and objectives in publishing the report.

The Council followed up on the report’s release with a Congressional staff briefing in Washington, DC, in February 2017. The well-attended briefing was held in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were the honorary co-hosts of the event.  Congressional staff from various New England House and Senate offices attended the briefing, which began with an overview of the report by its author, Peter J. Howe.  Following the presentation, a panel of NEC members discussed the current challenges facing the New England energy market. The panel was moderated by NEC Energy & Environment Committee Chairman Mark Kalpin of Holland & Knight.  Panelists included:

  • James Daley, Vice President – Energy Supply, Eversource
  • Susan Fleck, Vice President for Gas Pipeline Safety and Compliance, National Grid
  • Frederick Zalcman, Head of Market Development and Government Affairs, DONG Energy (Now Ørsted)

Regional Energy Forum – Fall 2016

On September 28, 2016, the Council hosted its second Regional Energy Forum featuring remarks from Gordon van Welie, the President & CEO of ISO New England, the region’s independent power grid operator.  The forum was held at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH.  Following Mr. van Welie’s remarks, Peter J. Howe, a longtime business reporter in Boston who is a Senior Advisor at Denterlein Worldwide, moderated a discussion further exploring the challenges and opportunities the region currently faces.  Discussion topics included:

  • The overall shift in generation resources from oil and coal natural gas;
  • The substantial retirements of fossil-fired and nuclear power plants, with other “at risk” oil- and coal-fired generators possibly retiring soon, along with;
  • The New England states’ statutory goals to increase the amount of renewable and low-carbon energy on the system as well as mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in;
  • A “hybrid grid” that will combine large power-system resources supplying the regional system with smaller ones supplying consumers directly, requiring;
  • Transmission investment to successfully incorporate large amounts of remote renewable resources, and possibly;
  • Additional investments in natural gas delivery infrastructure.

Over 150 New England Council members and other energy market stakeholders from throughout the region attended the forum.





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