FC Gas Intelligence: MISO and ISO New England Join the Debate on Gas Power

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MISO and ISO New England will join representatives from PJM Interconnection, New York ISO and several utilities commissions meeting in Chicago this May to debate natural gas power generation – including strategy and plans for integrating gas and electricity, environmental regulations and regional market rules.

The EPA has announced it will propose regulations for existing plants this June – which are expected to retire many of the existing US coal plants. This has pushed the entire US power generation industry to re-evaluate the existing coal-rich generation fleet and look closer at natural gas as a solution to power needs.

So far, the switch to natural gas has resulted in a reduction of almost 25% in CO2 emissions since 1997 – the environmental gains along with the 50-60% higher efficiency of gas turbines is now laying the foundation for natural gas to supersede coal as the source for US base load generation needs.

However, increased use of natural gas for power generation creates issues and challenges of its own. Pipeline capacity is a key concern to be tackled in Chicago - despite the 25% reduction in CO2 brought about by increased demand for natural gas for power, in 2012 new natural gas pipeline construction was at its lowest since 1997 (EIA). This has led to transmission capacity shortages and price hikes during the last two winters, particularly in the North East.

For 2014, it is vital for these regulators to convene and discuss how to deal with challenges and create solutions to supply and pricing crises. The Natural Gas Power Generation conference will provide a forum for utilities and independent power producers to hear from regulators and service providers on solutions to challenges they face and share strategy tips for running a successful gas-fired generation fleet.

ISO New England is keen to be part of this discussion; VP of External Affairs Anne George says, “gas/electric integration is a critical issue in New England so we are pleased to participate.” ISO New England is sending Kevin Kirby, Vice President of Market Operations, and MISO will be represented by Todd Ramey, Vice President System Operations and Market Services. A detailed description of the market rules panel discussion as well as the full agenda can be found on the event page: http://events.fc-gi.com/PowerUSA.

As well as the market rules regulators, the EPA, FERC and NERC will be giving vital updates as well as industry leaders for gas-fired power generation Calpine, Exelon and Panda Power be sharing their gas-fired strategy. Conference director Jessica Allen promises the event will be “the premier meeting place for the gas generation industry.”

This conference is organised by FC Gas Intelligence, for more information on the event and how to get involved see the event webpage: http://events.fc-gi.com/PowerUSA or get in touch with the event director, Jessica Allen – jessica(at)fc-gi(dot)com.

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