FC Gas Intelligence: ‘War on coal’ Pushing US Utilities Forward in Widespread Switch to Natural Gas for Power Generation

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Major utilities including Exelon, AEP, Capital Power, Dominion and Southern Power will convene in Chicago this May to discuss gas-fired power strategy and hear updates from key regulators the EPA, FERC, NERC, ISOs and state commissioners plus meet with major suppliers and contractors like Energy Exemplar, TurboPHASE, ABB, Siemens and Mitsubishi.

There are a multitude of factors which are propelling natural gas power generation forward as the solution for the US energy future. The EPA regulations AKA the ‘war on coal’, inconsistency of expensive renewables and widespread closure of nuclear facilities all place natural gas as the clear choice for new generation capacity. Energy Exemplar, provider of cutting-edge software for integrating gas and electric markets, says coal retirements are creating huge potential for gas-fired power growth in the US; ‘America’s appetite for electricity won’t diminish with the retirements – it will probably continue to grow,’ says Randell Johnson, Regional Director.

This switch is now firmly underway - gas-fired plants account for 63% of future planned capacity additions through 2040. Utilities with the largest generation fleets are embracing natural gas – recent projects include Georgia Power’s conversion of the McDonough Atkinson plant from coal to natural gas, the Florida Power & Light Martin Next Generation Clean Energy Center and the Tennessee Valley Authority planned $1 billion combined cycle facility, planned to come online in three years in Kentucky.

However, in order to fully commit to natural gas for their operations, utilities and power producers must understand and navigate the market challenges. Integration of gas and electric markets has led to constraints on gas transmission services, in turn causing price spikes in some regions. Plus, power producers must successfully adhere to multi-faceted regulations which affect gas-fired generation planning, siting and operations – set and monitored by the EPA, FERC, NERC and state commissions.

The need to discuss challenges and share strategy is exactly why FC Business Intelligence has organized the Natural Gas Power Generation Conference & Exhibition – taking place in Chicago this May 19-20. Attendees will hear from all the key regulators – FERC, NERC, the EPA, state commissions and several ISOs debating market rules and integration of the gas and electric markets. Additionally, utilities can take tips from the leaders in gas-fired power on how to succeed in this market, with speakers from Calpine, Exelon, Panda Power Funds, Entergy, AEP and CPS Energy. Headline strategic developer NTE Energy will present on why their current projects are all gas focused; ‘The thing that attracts us to natural gas is that it’s a low-cost, very clean burning fuel that’s readily available in the North American market. It produces both environmental benefits as well as significant economic and efficiency benefits for power generation,’ says Seth Shortlidge, CEO.

Not only that, key stakeholders Goldman Sachs, UBS and CIBC world Markets Corp. will be discussing the financing and financial management of gas-fired power plants, and utilities will meet major suppliers and contractors TurboPHASE, ABB, Enerfab, Siemens and Mitsubishi.

Click here to take a look at the event webpage: http://events.fc-gi.com/PowerUSA/.

The nation’s top utilities are already confirmed to attend, including Exelon, Capital Power, Dominion, Bruce Power, Southern Power, East KY Power Cooperative, Calpine and many more. Conference organizer Jessica Allen promises this will be the premier meeting place for gas-fired power in the US; ‘We have fantastic speakers and delegates from across the entire value chain for gas-fired power, this is definitely a networking opportunity not to be missed if you have an interest in the gas power market.’

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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