Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) is working to help ensure the reliability of both the natural gas and electric systems for all customers. In comments submitted today to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on coordination between natural gas and electricity markets, AGA called on FERC to continue their efforts to foster a dialogue between the gas and electric industries.
“Ensuring the reliability of the natural gas and electric systems for all customers will require a concerted effort from industry leaders and policymakers,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. “We appreciate the leadership the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has shown in initiating this dialogue and providing policy direction that will enable investments and encourage actions that provide for the continued reliability of both systems. America’s natural gas utilities will continue to engage in this conversation on behalf of the 175 million customers nationwide who rely on clean natural gas.”
In February, AGA praised FERC for creating the forum for discussions on how best to address the reliability impacts associated with increased use of natural gas to generate electricity. Immediate concerns include improving local communication and coordination among gas utilities, gas pipelines, electric utilities, power generators, and electric transmission operators to ensure reliability during periods of peak demand, system constraints or supply or transportation disruptions on the gas systems.
In their comments to FERC, AGA recommends that:
• FERC take a leadership role in quickly convening a series of technical conferences at both the national and regional levels that clearly identify and organize general policy goals and objectives and address specific regional concerns;
• FERC undertake a review of whether its rules regarding communications among pipeline operators and electric transmission operators can be modified to maintain reliability of both systems;
• FERC review existing pipeline certificate applications and expedite review and approval of projects that are needed to enhance system reliability;
• FERC, with the participation of appropriate gas industry stakeholders, encourage each regional electric transmission operator or other appropriate body to regularly assess whether there is an over-reliance on interruptible gas transportation service to meet electric reliability needs, given the level of generator fuel diversity;
• FERC not focus narrowly on whether changes could be made to the gas nomination and scheduling procedures as a solution for electric reliability concerns.
You can access the comments filed by AGA here.