What's New at NGA?

April 25, 2017
NGA's "Regional Market Trends Forum" to be held May 4
On May 4, NGA will hold its annual "Regional Market Trends Forum" in Hartford, CT. Sessions will address gas and power generation, LNG optionality, and pipeline proposals. Look for more information here: http://www.northeastgas.org/eve-regional.php

U.S. EPA Releases Annual U.S. GHG Data; Natural Gas-Related Methane Emissions in U.S. in 2015 were 16.3% Lower than in 1990
In mid-April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the updated inventory of its latest annual data estimates on U.S. anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission trends from 1990 through 2015. Among the trends noted by EPA were the following:
  • "In 2015, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 6,586.7 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 Eq. Total U.S. emissions have increased by 3.5 percent from 1990 to 2015, and emissions decreased from 2014 to 2015 by 2.3 percent (153.0 MMT CO2 Eq.)."
  • "Natural gas systems were the second largest anthropogenic source category of CH4 emissions in the United States in 2015 with 162.4 MMT CO2 Eq. of CH4 emitted into the atmosphere. Those emissions have decreased by 36.5 MMT CO2 Eq. (18.6 percent) since 1990. The decrease in CH4 emissions is largely due to a decrease in emissions from transmission, storage and distribution. The decrease in transmission and storage emissions is largely due to reduced compressor station emissions (including emissions form compressors and fugitives). The decrease in distribution emissions is largely attributed to increased use of plastic piping, which has lower emissions than other pipe materials, and station upgrades at metering and regulating (M&R) stations."

Look for further details on EPA's web site: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks-1990-2015

NGA Announces Online Safety Training Program for First Responders
On April 13, the Northeast Gas Association (NGA) announced the release of a new online gas safety training program designed for First Responders. The First Responder Natural Gas Safety Training Program is a self-directed, interactive, online training package that provides emergency response personnel with the information they need to safely identify and respond to incidents that involve natural gas pipelines and other natural gas facilities. This free training program was designed in partnership with fire chiefs, safety trainers, educational experts and instructional design professionals. It's a comprehensive curriculum that's dynamic, easy to use and effective. It is based on an award-winning, innovative program first developed by National Grid in 2014. Further information on the program can be found online: https://ngafirstresponder.com

Gaz Métro Offers Additional LNG Capacity to Serve New England Natural Gas Distribution Companies
On April 24, Gaz Métro announced that its subsidiary Gaz Métro LNG, L.P. (Gaz Métro LNG) has completed its expansion project tripling the capacity of its Montréal natural gas liquefaction plant, adding a major potential source of natural gas for the New England market. Gaz Métro LNG's expansion project, supported by Gaz Métro and Investissement Québec, increases the annual liquefaction capacity of Gaz Métro's Montréal plant from 3 billion cubic feet to more than 9 billion cubic feet (BCF). Gaz Métro LNG serves various clients in the U.S. Northeast, notably National Grid's Massachusetts and Rhode Island gas distribution companies. Further information is available online: https://www.gnl.gazmetro.com/en/?_ga=1.186733928.1339176057.1490987064

FERC Staff Approves Start of Construction on Tennessee Gas Pipeline's "Connecticut Expansion"
On April 12, staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced it had granted Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.'s (Tennessee) April 6, 2017 requests to proceed with tree clearing and full construction activities associated with the Connecticut Expansion Project. The project will upgrade TGP's existing system within New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It will provide approximately 72,100 dekatherms per day of additional firm transportation capacity. Gas utilities Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation, Yankee Gas Services Company and Southern Connecticut Gas Company have signed long term agreements with TGP for the additional transportation capacity that the CT Expansion Project will add to the TGP system. The project is expected to be placed into service on November 1, 2017.

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving New Customers in Addison County
On April 12, Vermont Gas announced that it has completed its 41-mile Addison Natural Gas Project (ANGP) and is now serving customers in Middlebury. Service to other Addison towns will begin throughout the year as more distribution lines to homes and businesses are complete.

"This is great news for the thousands of families and businesses who have waited patiently for the choice and opportunity of affordable natural gas service. We are so pleased to offer service to our new customers," said Don Rendall, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. "This has been an incredibly challenging project. We are very thankful to the communities and landowners who have supported us along the way and look forward to helping even more Vermonters save money and reduce their energy needs through our nationally recognized efficiency programs."

"We couldn't be happier to see the Addison Natural Gas Project complete. The savings we will experience will be significant and we are excited to pass them along to all of the farmers that own our business," said Doug DiMento, Agri-Mark Director of Communications. "In addition to saving money, Vermont Gas' team of energy experts has also helped us make real strides in reducing our energy costs and our carbon footprint providing even greater savings to our farmer owners."

The system expansion will bring a valuable energy choice to over 4,000 households, businesses, and institutions such as schools and hospitals in Middlebury, Bristol, Vergennes, New Haven, and other Addison County communities.

NGA & SGA Presenting Pipeline Safety Workshop, May 17-18
On May 17-18, NGA and the Southern Gas Association (SGA) will present a joint program - the Pipeline Safety Management Systems Workshop, in Boston. Look for more information here: http://www.northeastgas.org/pdf/2017_pipeline_safety.pdf

Registration Underway for NGA's 61st Annual Gas Operations School
NGA's 61st Annual Gas Operations School & Exhibit will be held June 6-9, 2017 at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. Registration is underway for students and sponsors. Look for more information on NGA's web site: http://www.northeastgas.org/eve-gas-ops-school.php

April is Safe Digging Month
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and its stakeholders have designated April 2017 as National Safe Digging Month. This month is dedicated to increasing awareness of safe digging practices across the country and of 811, the national call-before-you-dig number. Throughout the busy digging month of April, CGA and its members are encouraging homeowners and contractors to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages.

In addition to the national 811 service, NGA reminds its members - and the general public - that each of the Northeast states has a local "One Call Center." They range from "Call Before You Dig" in Connecticut to "Dig Safely New York" to "One Call New Jersey" to "Dig Safe" in five New England states. NGA has links to all the sites linked through the "Public Awareness" section of its web site, at www.northeastgas.org. Utilize these important resources - be aware - and be safe!

PJM Releases Analysis of Fuel Mix and Reliability - Assessing Increased Natural Gas & Renewables
On March 30, PJM announced the release of a new report entitled "PJM's Evolving Resource Mix and System Reliability." PJM stakeholders had questioned whether the system is losing too many traditional resources as coal plants retire and nuclear owners consider their future. The analysis concludes that the PJM Interconnection system can remain reliable with the addition of more natural gas and renewable resources. The study found that a more diverse fuel portfolio isn't necessarily more reliable. Certain resource blends that fall between the least and most diverse offer the greatest number of key generator reliability attributes. An adequate level of diversity fosters flexibility and adaptability in mitigating risks associated with equipment failure, fuel price volatility, supply disruptions, extreme weather and other unforeseen system shocks. Look for further details online: http://pjm.com/