New England Generators Turn Away from Fuel Oil as Weather Turns Warmer

The amount of electricity generated by oil in New England last month fell by more than 4,000% from March as natural gas-fired generation rose by 1,200 GWh month over month, the regional grid operator said.

Oil-fired power plants were relied up on more than usual this winter as the region was hit by frequent bouts of bitter cold. This explains at least in part the noticeable drop in oil’s share of the generation mix heading into the traditional shoulder season.

While oil’s contribution to New England generators’ fuel mix moved to 4 GWh in April from 168 GWh in March, the contribution from gas-fired plants rose to 3,560 GWh from 2,362 GWh in March, new ISO New England data show.

Generation from plants that can burn oil or gas topped 950 GWh in January, dropped to just under 370 GWh in February and remained near that level through April.
While the independent system operator does not track whether power plants are burning gas or oil in real-time, it is believed that dual-fuel units burned large amounts of oil this winter and have shifted to mostly gas now.

Read on at Platts.

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