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Achievements in Electricity Industry Restructuring in Connecticut, Prepared for the New England Energy Alliance by ESAI Power LLC, April 2010
A 2006 New England Energy Alliance Report, "A review of Electricity Industry Restructuring in New England," found the region's consumers and the environment were better off in comparison to what the prevailing trends prior to restructuring would have yielded had they continued. Since then, several state legislative initiatives have been enacted to refine industry restructuring efforts at the retail level - particularly in Connecticut where electricity prices have been the highest in the nation due to heavy reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation, insufficient infrastructure development in the past that up until recently resulted in high transmission congestion costs and reliance on uneconomic generating facilities in order to maintain reliability, among other challenging factors. The Alliance retained ESAI Power LLC to assess the effect of these initiatives on Connecticut's electricity industry. Progress was measured in four broad areas including: generation investment; demand response and energy efficiency; renewable energy resource development; and consumer choice and retail competition.
New England Energy Alliance Energy Roundtable, Perspectives on the Impact of Zero Electricity Demand Growth Strategies on Regional Energy Infrastructure Development , February 2008
The Alliance sponsored a roundtable discussion in late 2007 to obtain insight on a proposed goal in Massachusetts to meet all – or at least most – future growth in electricity demand by energy efficiency and demand resources, rather than from new electricity generation facilities. Moderated by Nora Brownell, former Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, participants included representatives from National Grid, the Conservation Law Foundation, CRA International, and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. Invited guest Paul Hibbard, Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities provided regulatory insight.
Electricity Transmission Infrastructure Development in New England, prepared for the New England Energy Alliance and the Massachusetts Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance by Polestar Communications & Strategic Analysis , December 2007
New England's electric transmission system remains under stress despite recent improvements, many of them significant. The stress is caused by the growing demand for electricity coupled with underinvestment and the unprecedented number of power plants built in the last decade, all needing access to the transmission system. Another major factor is competition in the relatively new wholesale market where transmission plays a vital role.
This paper highlights the value and importance of expanding and upgrading the transmission system to maintain reliable electricity delivery and to facilitate the competitive wholesale marketplace.
A Review of Electricity Industry Restructuring in New England, prepared for Members of the New England Energy Alliance by Polestar Communications & Strategic Analysis , October 2006
This white paper presents what may well be the first integrated review of the progress of restructuring in New England from its inception in 1998 through 2005. It identifies and quantifies the performance of the regional wholesale market; reviews and qualitatively compares individual state retail markets; and assesses the impact of restructuring on electricity generation infrastructure and fuel sources.
The paper finds that electricity restructuring has saved the region's consumers billions of dollars compared to pre-restructuring trends and is better protecting the environment. However, it calls restructuring "a work in progress" noting that development of new infrastructure - power plants, transmission lines, and natural gas supplies - is not keeping pace with demand, which in turn affects market effectiveness.
In November 2005, the New England Energy Alliance published a report authored by Dr. Susan Tierney and Paul Hibbard of the Analysis Group, titled "New England Energy Infrastructure: Adequacy Assessment and Policy Review." It concluded that the region faces a potential energy crisis characterized by an inadequate energy infrastructure and the possibility of both natural gas and electricity supply shortages by 2010 at the latest. To address these questions, the New England Energy Alliance convened a panel of five experts who have been at the center of the region's energy debates for the past twenty-five years including Dr. Susan Tierney of the Analysis Group, William Ellis, former CEO of Northeast Utilities, Henry Lee of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Professor Paul Joskow of MIT, and Manfred Ernst, CEO of Fieldstone. This report is a synthesis of the dialog focusing on resource adequacy (natural gas, coal and electric), diversity of supply, energy facility siting and energy planning and decision-making.
This paper was jointly sponsored by the New England Council and the New England Energy Alliance to advocate the role and benefits of the region's nuclear energy plants. New England's five nuclear energy plants are the "backbone" of the region's electricity grid-providing reliable, base-load capacity using a dependable fuel source. Because of their low operating costs, nuclear energy plants generate electricity economically - which is important in a region that has some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. These plants also avoid air emissions that contribute to acid rain and smog - and will play an important role in attaining greenhouse gas reduction goals for those states with in-state programs as well as those participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The New England Energy Alliance's first report assessed the adequacy of New England's Energy supply infrastructure and related policies to meet future energy needs. The assessment demonstrates that New England faces major near-term problems in all parts of its energy infrastructure including natural gas facilities, electric transmission lines and electric power generation. It notes that future performance of competitive markets is dependent on the availability of adequate infrastructure and urges actions to resolve issues standing in the way of infrastructure investment.
"Our assessment of the region's resources indicates unequivocally that we are at a critical point today if we are to avoid energy shortages that will be acute by 2010 - at the latest. This means that policymakers have a small window in which they must make some key decisions affecting plans for energy projects. Energy investors will likely stay away from New England until policymakers act," according to Susan F. Tierney of the Analysis Group.