CES Spotlight Blog
Fracking Across The Pond
In my last blog I wrote about New Brunswick’s Frederick Brook and Horton Bluff shale formations. These formations may hold enormous amounts of natural gas and, if developed, may bring low priced natural gas into northern New England for many years. Before development can proceed, the New Brunswick government needs to settle on regulations to govern hydraulic fracturing. A similar process is playing out across the pond in Britain. Late last week, Britain’s Department of Energy & Climate Change lifted a moratorium on “fracking”. Shale gas development in Britain bears watching; higher natural gas prices in Britain and continental Europe attract scarce cargos of liquefied natural gas (LNG) away from the US. This is of no consequence today to most of the US, where prices are so low that owners of terminals designed to import LNG are rushing to reverse flow and start exporting domestically produced natural gas instead. Isolated load pockets, however, like northern New England, have suffered this year from a lack of LNG imports.
New Brunswick Canada Shale
As discussed in a previous blog, New England is facing a winter of natural gas supply constraints. This is hard to take knowing that other regions of the US are enjoying the considerable economic benefits of a boom in natural gas production. There may be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel in the form of New Brunswick shale. New Brunswick Canada has significant shale formations that have yet to be fully explored. Some believe that the Frederick Brook and Horton Bluff shale formations could be the next Marcellus, holding enormous amounts of natural gas that can be economically produced at low prices.
Regional Electric Grid Operator Asks for $14 million Budget Increase
The Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) has requested approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a substantial increase in its budget. ISO-NE is requesting a total of $165 million for calendar 2013, this represents a 14.8% or $21.3 million increase over the 2012 revenue requirement. Why should you care? ISO-NE’s revenue requirement is collected in the cost of all wholesale electricity sold in New England. These costs are ultimately paid by all electric end-users in New England. The requested rate increase would take effect January 1, 2013. Read on for more details on ISO-NE and the proposed rate increase.
Efficiency Maine Trust Large Efficiency and Distributed Generation RFP
The Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT) has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for large electrical efficiency or distributed electric generation projects in the State. Perhaps less interesting to readers from outside of Maine, the RFP should be compelling reading for medium to large consumers of electricity in Maine. EMT has $4,000,000 to give away to the most competitive bidders under this RFP. Only two things are certain: (1) if you don’t apply you can’t win an award and (2) somebody else will make good use of this money! So if you are a large consumer of electricity in Maine, please keep reading.