Briefing on the 2021/2022 Winter Outlook with ISO New England
The CSG East Energy and Environment Committee hosted a virtual briefing on the 2021/22 Winter Outlook with ISO New England, the operator of New England’s bulk electric power system. The briefing featured a presentation from Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England. Van Welie said that weather forecasters are expecting a milder-than-average winter in New England, and if those predictions are accurate, officials at ISO New England expect to have the resources needed to meet consumer energy demand throughout the season. Nevertheless, a sudden, unexpected cold snap could affect reliability and compel the ISO to implement a number of measures, including controlled power outages, he said. The risks could be exacerbated by natural gas pipeline constraints — given the region’s reliance on the fuel for heating and electricity — and high global prices for oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In his presentation, van Welie also discussed the challenges facing the region as it transitions to a renewable energy future and states strive to meet their clean energy goals.
The forum was hosted by the CSG East Energy and Environment Committee co-chairs, Connecticut state Senator Paul Formica and Massachusetts state Senator Marc Pacheco, and included a lively discussion with legislators from the New England states.