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ISO New England is projecting that peak demand in New England could reach between 22,355 MW and 23,095 MW this winter, depending on low temperatures, and the operator says the six-state region should have sufficient resources to meet consumer demand during the season.

New England has generation and demand-side resources totaling approximately 33,000 MW, including about 30,500 MW from generators, 1,920 MW from demand-side resources and 475 MW of net imports from neighboring regions. However, ISO New England notes that the region's reliance on natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity could create operational challenges if natural gas supplies become tight this winter. If this occurs, the operator says it will rely on oil- and coal-fired generation to lessen any operational risks to the region’s power system.

“ISO New England has raised concerns about the region’s reliance on natural gas as part of our broader Strategic Planning Initiative efforts,” says Vamsi Chadalavada, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ISO New England Inc. “And while we currently are working on several mid- and long-term solutions with stakeholders, including changes to the wholesale electricity markets, these will take time to implement.”

Should conditions such as unexpected power plant or transmission line outages occur, ISO New England says it has other steps it can take to maintain reliability, including calling on demand-response resources to curtail their energy use, importing emergency power from neighboring regions, and asking businesses and residents to voluntarily conserve electricity.





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