Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



February 1, 2022

Senator Needleman Leads ‘Staring Into the Storm’ Forum on Connecticut’s Energy Grid

Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), along with his fellow Energy & Technology Committee Chair State Representative David Arconti (D-Danbury), Ranking Member State Senator Paul Formica (R-Old Saybrook) and Ranking Member State Representative Charles Ferraro (R-West Haven) held “Staring Into The Storm,” a forum on energy focused on the state’s electric grid, pressures that could harm or compromise the grid’s operations, and what the state needs to do in the future to achieve better results.

Attendees and speakers at Tuesday’s forum included energy analyst Meredith Angwin, ISO New England President and CEO Gordon Van Welie, UIL Holdings Corp. President and CEO Franklyn Reynolds, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Chair Marissa Gillett, and Eversource President of Connecticut Electric Operations Steve Sullivan.

“I’d like to thank the many people who participated in this informational forum,” said Sen. Needleman. “We covered many topics today – I’m happy, for instance, that utility companies and PURA are planning for a worst-case scenario well before it could happen, and I’m hopeful that ISO New England and DEEP can mitigate the impact of climate change, fix reliability issues currently existing and, most importantly, manage the cost to our ratepayers. Ratepayers need to be front and center in this conversation.”

Above all else, this event’s purpose was to spread information to the public, gathering a number of energy experts in one day to speak, listen to each other and explain their perspectives. This also allowed the Energy & Technology Committee to have a deeper understanding of the impact of policies we introduce – we cannot afford unintended consequences of legislation that could harm the state. We now have a better framework for our future work: we must find the best ways forward for the benefit of our entire state and region.”

Topics of conversation during the forum included the design of Connecticut and New England’s energy market; grid reliability in terms of resources available and pressures on the market, including increased demand from users, fluctuations in other energy markets and potential extreme weather; and how best the state can move closer to net zero carbon emissions from the electric grid to meet environmental standards.

The full forum, recorded and livestreamed Tuesday morning and afternoon, is available on-demand online on the Energy and Technology Committee’s Youtube page.