What's New at NGA?

June 21, 2018
NGA Participating at World Gas Conference in D.C.
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/

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.

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:

http://news.nationalgridus.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/80x50-White-Paper-FINAL.pdf

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:

http://www.cpv.com/news/2018/06/competitive-power-ventures-and-ge-achieve-commercial-operation-at-805mw-cpv-towantic-energy-center-connecticut/

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."

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:
https://www.eversource.com/content/ct-c/about/news-room/new-hampshire/newspost?Group=new-hampshire&Post=eversource-will-submit-updated-gas-capacity-proposal

Heritage Gas Announces New Contract Approved for Long-term Natural Gas Transportation with PNGTS
On June 1, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board approved Heritage Gas' Application to enter into a long-term natural gas transportation contract with the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), also known as the Portland Xpress Project ("PXP") Contract. Heritage Gas President John Hawkins says that the 22-year contract will allow the company to access low-cost natural gas from central Canada, one of the most stable supply sources in North America. Heritage Gas Limited is a Nova Scotia-based company formed in 2003 to operate a regulated natural gas distribution franchise in the province. Heritage Gas provides natural gas service to customers in Halifax, Pictou, Amherst and Oxford.

FERC to Convene Technical Conference on Bulk Power System Reliability on July 31
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) will hold a Technical Conference on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. This Commissioner-led conference will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at the FERC offices in Washington, DC. The purpose of the conference is to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. The Commission will issue an agenda at a later date in a supplemental notice.