Hydro, Natural Gas Continue to Replace Coal, Oil in New England
New England is relying more on natural gas along with hydroelectric imports from Canada, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Natural gas and hydroelectric generation from Quebec are displacing the use of coal and oil as generation fuels for electricity in New England.
Recent and planned closures of large power plants may cause the independent system operator for New England (ISO-NE) to continue to rely on an increasing amount of hydropower from Quebec. The 745 MW coal- and oil-fueled Salem Harbor Power Station ceased operation on June 1. Pending shutdowns include the 605 MW Vermont Yankee nuclear facility, expected to be shut down at the end of 2014, and the 1,520 MW Brayton Point coal- and natural gas/oil-fired power plant, expected to be shut down in 2017.
To make up for the loss of these generators, ISO-NE has proposed constructing several transmission lines, including the 1,200 MW Northern Pass, to increase transmission of electricity from Canada. Hydro-Quebec has more than 36,000 MW of installed hydroelectric capacity and has been exporting electricity to New England and New York since the 1980s.
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