Adequate power supply expected for winter

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(Host) The operator of New England’s transmission network says the region should have adequate power supplies this winter.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) The forecast is the opposite of last year, when hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico had knocked out oil and natural gas facilities.

This year, the refineries and natural gas plants are back on line. Ken McDonnell is a spokesman for ISO – New England, which operates the bulk transmission system.

(McDonnell) “Last year at this time, we were experiencing the effects of hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and that put a lot of stress on the supply of natural gas and oil. This year, we’re on a completely different situation. Supplies are back to normal.”

(Dillon) More power plants in the region have also been retrofitted to burn natural gas or oil. That means they can switch from one fuel to another if supplies get tight.

(McDonnel) “This gives the ISO greater flexibility for maintaining sufficient electric supply during fuel constraints.”

(Dillon) ISO is also predicting normal temperatures this winter. The region has added an additional 22-hundred megawatts of capacity since January 2004, when a cold snap put severe strain on the system.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon.

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