Free as the sun


To the Editor:

The cost of solar-generated electricity will never go up due to an increase in the price of the fuel used to produce the electricity.

Both of our region’s primary electric utilities have announced double-digit rate increases in recent weeks, leaving some residential customers wondering how they’ll pay an extra $30 a month or more.

Natural gas went from supplying less than one fifth of New England’s power to one half in just over a decade.

As the region’s reliance on natural gas increased, a big problem became more and more apparent.

“There isn’t enough pipe to carry the gas from where it’s produced into New England,” said Gordon van Welie, president of ISO New England, the organization that operates New England’s massive interconnected regional power grid.

There are only three pipelines to bring natural gas into New England from the south and west. Space in those pipelines began to run out on high-demand days. Consequently the price of natural gas in the region went up — and that’s why beginning in January, some Massachusetts residential customers will pay about $33 a month more for electricity.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven