What's New at NGA?

June 18, 2018
Nominations for LDC Safety Award Due to NGA by June 29
Submittals for the Northeast Gas Association's "Excellence in Safety Recognition Program" are due June 29. The Award recognizes an NGA member company that has developed an innovative and exceptional safety or health-related program. NGA seeks to recognize companies that have worked hard to develop and implement a unique program that has had an overall direct impact on employee, customer, or general public safety and health. The selected company (or companies) will receive recognition at the NGA Executive Conference in September. Please contact Dan Dessanti for more information: ddessanti@northeastgas.org.

Two New Gas Power Plants Begin Operations in New England
In the first two weeks of June, two new gas combined-cycle power plants came onto the regional power grid in New England.

On June 1, the Salem Harbor Power Station in Salem, MA began commercial operations. The 674 MW unit is owned by Footprint Power. It is built on the site of a former coal and oil plant.

On June 14, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) and its partners including GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) announced that the 805-megawatt (MW) CPV Towantic Energy Center in Oxford, CT achieved commercial operation and is now supplying electricity to power more than 800,000 homes and businesses. The project, managed by Competitive Power Ventures, Inc., was constructed by Gemma Power Systems, LLC and is being operated by NAES Corporation. The CPV press release can be found here:


National Grid Releases "Northeast 80 x 50 Pathway" report
On June 15, National Grid released the "Northeast 80x50 Pathway," a blueprint for drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 ("80x50"). The Pathway is the first of its kind in the Northeast. The Northeast 80x50 Pathway includes in-depth modeling and analysis addressing the three most carbon-intensive sectors in the Northeast- heating, power generation, and transportation.

The Pathway calls for three big shifts in our energy systems by a mid-term goal of 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 in order to achieve the long-term goal of 80% by 2050:
  • Heat - A transformation of the heat sector, by doubling the rate of efficiency retrofits and converting nearly all of the region's 5 million oil-heated buildings to electric heat pumps or natural gas; and
  • Power Generation - Accelerating the zero-carbon electricity transition, by ramping up renewable electricity deployment to achieve 67% zero-carbon electricity supply;
  • Transportation - A transformation of the transport sector, by reaching more than 10 million electric vehicles on Northeast roads (roughly 50% of all vehicles)

Look for the report online:


Eversource to Submit Updated Gas Capacity Proposal in NH
On June 11, Eversource notified the N.H. Public Utilities Commission that it will submit an updated proposal to replace the company's agreement to purchase capacity on the proposed Access Northeast gas pipeline expansion. The N.H. Supreme Court recently reversed the PUC's 2016 dismissal of the original agreement and has remanded the issue to the PUC. The company said it "has temporarily withdrawn the original Access Northeast gas capacity agreement and intends to refile a revised application that best serves the interest of customers. The need for additional gas capacity in New England is more acute today than it was at the time Eversource filed the original application, with the region incurring $1.7 billion of additional costs due to the lack of sufficient access to low cost natural gas this winter. To help ensure Eversource customers are not exposed to these unnecessary costs, the parties to the contract will modify the two-year-old proposal." Look for further details here:

NGA's 62nd Annual Gas Operations School Draws Over 700
NGA's 62nd Annual Gas Operations School & Exhibit was held June 5-8, 2018 at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. Over 700 people participated. Thanks to all the speakers, sponsors, vendors, and students. Some photos from this year's school can be found on the NGA Flick'r page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/northeast_gas/albums/72157667812371697

NGA to Participate in Exhibit at World Gas Conference, Late June
The 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018) takes place in Washington DC from June 25-29. It offers a highly comprehensive and diverse program for the natural gas industry. NGA and NYSEARCH have a booth in the exhibit hall for the event to highlight technology research among other areas. The American Gas Association (AGA) is the organizer for the event. More details can be found here: https://wgc2018.com/

NGA Files Comments with FERC Regarding Value of LNG re: ISO-NE Tariff Waiver Request Regarding Exelon and Mystic Units
On May 18, NGA filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding Docket No. ER18-1509. This proceeding was initiated by a petition of ISO New England, Inc. pursuant to the Commission's Rule 207 for waiver of certain provisions of the ISO's Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff ("Tariff") in order to ensure reliable electric service for New England consumers during the ISO's 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 Capacity Commitment Periods. ISO-NE stated in its original filing to the FERC that "The genesis of the requested waivers is the submission by Exelon Generation Company, LLC's ("Exelon") of Retirement De-List Bids for the Mystic Generating Station ("Mystic Station") on March 23, 2018. Exelon is in the process of acquiring the Distrigas LNG import terminal from its current owner, ENGIE North America Inc. Distrigas is the source of fuel supplies for the Mystic electric generating units owned by Exelon that operate on natural gas. NGA observed that "The waiver sought by the electric grid operator is a short term solution supporting power market reliability, but a longer term remedy still needs to be enacted, in our view...The Distrigas LNG terminal is integral to the New England natural gas market in terms of supply and reliability. We respectfully urge the Commission to consider in its assessment of the energy market issues raised by this tariff waiver request the importance of maintaining regional LNG access within the time period under review."

NPCC Projects Sufficient Electric Supplies for Northeast Power System; Natural Gas Represents 2/3 of New Capacity Additions over Last Year
On May 15, the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, Inc. (NPCC) released the results of its annual summer reliability assessment. The assessment concludes that the NPCC Region will have an adequate supply of electricity this summer, based on thousands of simulations covering a wide range of system and weather conditions. The overall NPCC forecast for electricity peak demand has decreased by about 1,100 MW from last year's forecast to 104,137 MW. This continues a multi-year trend of declining forecast demand due to energy efficiency and conservation initiatives along with continued increase of "behind-the-meter" photovoltaic resources in New York, New England and Ontario. Since last summer, NPCC's installed net capacity has increased by approximately 3,000 MW to 161,307 MW. About two-thirds of the new capacity consists of natural gas-fired generation primarily with dual-fuel capability located in New York and New England. Look for further details online: https://www.npcc.org/default.aspx

EIA Update: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Production Increased in 2017
On April 23, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released an update on natural gas production in Pennsylvania. EIA stated: "Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production averaged a record 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, 3% higher than the 2016 level. This production is largely from shale plays in the Appalachian Basin. Pennsylvania accounted for 19% of total U.S. marketed natural gas production in 2017 and produced more natural gas than any other state except Texas." Look for further details here: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35892