On a High Note: New England Energy is Cleaning Up

On a High Note: New England Energy is Cleaning Up

In May, the entire state of California was briefly powered by renewable energy for the first time. Now, the East Coast is heading in a similar direction. As it stands, New England’s grid runs primarily on natural gas. But according to a report by ISO New England, the region is moving toward a grid mostly powered by renewables and points to wind (66%) and solar (9%).

“This transformation is already well underway in the region’s power system, and the impact it will have on New England for generations to come cannot be overstated,” Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer of ISO New England, said in a letter issued jointly with Cheryl LaFleur, chairwoman of the grid operator’s board of directors.

And, all states in the region (with the exception of New Hampshire) have their own targets for increasing renewables and decreasing emissions. Vermont is bound to an 80% reduction by 2050; Maine requires carbon neutrality by 2045; and Massachusetts must hit net-zero emissions by 2050.

In terms of other Northeast, energy-forward moves -- almost all the states joined forces to co-pioneer the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which aims to reduce CO2 emissions with a shift to clean energy, especially due to the region’s cold winters and hot summers that require heating and cooling.

NBC: Extreme Heat Raises Concerns about US Power Grids, June 17, 2022.

WMUR-TV: ISO New England warns of rolling blackouts if grid faces cold snap and generation issues, December 9, 2021.

NEWS CENTER Maine: Work begins on The New England Clean Energy Connect Corridor, April 23, 2021.

CNBC: How The US Can Build A 100% Clean Grid, January 27, 2022.

Massachusetts Attorney General: Understanding Capacity Resource Accreditation for New England’s Clean Energy Transition, June 8, 2022.