Coal Power Plant Closings Lead to Energy Price Increase in New England

The law of supply and demand is going to hit New England residents hard.

A recent auction for New England’s power needs for 2017 and 2018 exposes an energy shortage in the region as a result of power plant closings. The lack of future energy capacity will lead to higher energy prices and possible electricity shortages.

The New Haven Register reported on the auction conducted by ISO-New England – the region’s power grid operator.

Officials with New England’s electric grid operator say an auction to secure the amount of power generation that is projected to be needed in 2017-18 has come up short, due to the number of aging power plants being shut down across the region over the next several years.

Preliminary results of ISO-New England’s Forward Capacity Market (FCM) auction, which was concluded Monday, yielded 33,700 megawatts (MW). That’s 155 megawatts fewer than ISO-NE expects will be needed during that period of time.

Gordon van Welie, ISO New England’s president and chief executive officer, said the reason for the shortfall is that several major power producers in the region have announced plans to shut down their generation plants by 2017.

The closing of four power plants including two coal-fired facilities will reduce the regions energy by almost 10 percent.

“The large number of resource retirements — nearly 10 percent of the region’s total capacity — announced in just the past few months has caused a dramatic shift in the region’s power supply landscape,” van Welie said in a statement. “The region abruptly went from a capacity surplus and low prices in previous auctions to a capacity shortfall and relatively high prices. The slim capacity margin and the resulting auction prices are a clear signal to the marketplace that the region needs more power generation and demand reduction capacity.”

A local NAACP group that protested a coal power plant in Connecticut last year obviously doesn’t realize the impact of high energy costs on low income families.

Obama’s war on coal is causing an energy shortage in the deep blue states that helped elect him.

Obama’s New England supporters will soon understand the meaning of his promise to make electricity prices skyrocket.