Paper published on sustainability of the New England Power system by Nock and Baker

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

UMass Amherst researchers Dr. Destenie Nock (former IGERT Fellow) and Professor Erin Baker recently published a paper titled “Holistic multi-criteria decision analysis evaluation of sustainable electric generation portfolios: New England case study” in Applied Energy which discusses a method they developed to measure the sustainability of the New England Power system. This paper comes at a time when there are many debates in the region regarding adding offshore wind, retiring nuclear power plants, and natural gas pipelines. In the paper they make the case that the sustainability of the whole electricity system is not necessarily equal to the sum of the sustainability of the parts of the system. In other words, just adding offshore wind won’t necessarily increase overall sustainability if this is done in a power system which relies heavily on oil and natural gas. This work has many benefits for the region because it can illustrate how different combinations of power plants will help the region move toward meeting greenhouse gas emission targets and the impact this might have on electricity costs. The paper can be found at: