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Business and Economy

New England Power Grid Constrained By Winter Fuel Supply

The official overseeing the New England electric grid says the region is threatened with winter power shortages, due to potential shortages of fuel to run generating facilities.

Gordon van Welie of ISO New England says the region has sufficient generating capacity to meet the winter demand for electricity, but the natural gas pipelines that bring fuel to the region are not sufficient to guarantee natural gas power plants can stay online.

In many cases when it's cold producers must get power from plants that burn coal and oil and many of those are being taken out of service.

Van Welie, who spoke Thursday in South Burlington, says just building more pipelines isn't practical so the industry is being forced to find new ways to ensure there is sufficient capacity.