New England at high risk of blackouts this winter, regional utility says

New England’s grid operator says it may have to go into emergency mode and employ planned power outages if harsh winter weather strikes the region.

The head of ISO New England, Inc., which manages the region’s wholesale electricity market, said Monday the northeast would be forced into that “precarious position” if extremely cold weather were to collide with strained heating fuel supplies.

Gordon van Welie, ISO’s president and CEO, noted three variables that would affect operators’ decision-making: weather severity, global oil and gas prices, which he said “could affect storage and deliveries into New England,” and natural gas pipeline constraints.

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