Do ‘we’ need Northern Pass?
To the editor:
I’ve heard recently that we need the Northern Pass and soon, too.
Using the Energy Information Administration data available from 2010 we find New Hampshire generated about 22,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity and used about 11,000,000 MWh, exporting 11,000,000 MWh.
Maine generated about 17,000,000 MWh and used about 11,500,000 MWh, exporting 5,500,000MWh.
Massachusetts generated about 42,800,000 MWh and used about 57,100,000 MWh, importing 14,300,000 MWh.
So, in round numbers, Massachusetts imported the excess generating capacity of both Maine and New Hampshire, with New Hampshire supplying the majority of that electricity.
In fact, from the EIA data, New Hampshire generates way too much electricity. If “we” is New Hampshire, where the Northern Pass is targeted, the answer is no, we don’t need the Northern pass. If “soon” is the next 10 years, the answer is especially no.
There are at least two ways to go: Stop exporting electricity, stop Northern Pass, shutter the coal plants, put Seabrook on standby; or keep exporting electricity, build Northern Pass, and charge 30 cents per KWh for exported electricity and lower our electric bills — dramatically.
Under no circumstances should New Hampshire or Maine experience rolling blackouts, brownouts or any other shenanigans related to the notion that “there isn’t enough electricity for us.”
Patrick J. Leary