New Primer Provides Context for Northwest’s Electric Power & Natural Gas Connection

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This month the Power and Natural Gas Planning Task Force—a joint working group sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee (PNUCC) and the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA)—released their first joint report, the “Natural Gas-Electricity Primer” an essential document in building a solid understanding of the basics of the electric power and natural gas industries.

The primer outlines the key issues surrounding the growing interdependence of the two industries in the region. It is relevant to industry players and provides a basic level of understanding for individuals seeking to take part in conversations on the topic.

The Pacific Northwest is becoming more reliant on natural gas as a key generation fuel. The region’s nearly 8,000 MW fleet of intermittent wind turbines require fast ramping, natural gas, peaking units to ensure a steady supply of power when winds die down. And as emissions from coal-fired power plants have come under increasing public scrutiny, more electric utilities have turned to natural gas for new baseload generation. These new dynamics have led to an increased need for understanding the nature of natural gas supply and transportation and electric generation requirements for utility planners and other regional energy stakeholders.

“This document provides an excellent resource for Northwest energy professionals to develop a shared knowledge on the basics of the gas and power industries,” said Dick Adams, PNUCC Executive Director. “By developing the primer with a working group of gas and electric industry professionals we were able to ensure the key challenges unique to our region are outlined,” Adams added.

Both the NWGA and PNUCC have been directly involved in the conversations surrounding natural gas convergence in the region. Adams and Dan Kirschner, NWGA Executive Director, both sat on the participating panel at the August 28th West Region Gas-Power Summit convened by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Portland, OR.

“The converging interests of the gas and power industries have been on our radar screen for a number of years and we’re excited at the scale of cooperation and enthusiasm we’ve seen from both our members and those of the PNUCC,” said Kirschner.