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FERC schedules two more technical conferences on gas-electric coordination

From the November 16, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published November 16, 2012

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order Nov. 15 directing its staff to hold two technical conferences on coordination between the electric and natural gas industries. The commission also ordered its staff and regional transmission organizations to provide reports next year on coordination activities. The upcoming technical conferences will further explore issues that were raised at five regional technical conferences held in August, in response to the gas-electric coordination problems that arose in the Southwest during a February 2011 cold spell.

The first technical conference will focus on barriers to effective communications between the natural gas and electric power industries. To provide guidance in advance of the conference, as the industries enter the winter heating season, the Nov. 15 order noted that the commission’s standards of conduct apply to communications only within the same organization (i.e., between the affiliated entities of a single corporate family) and do not limit communications between unaffiliated natural gas pipelines and electric transmission system operators. The standards do not apply at all to commission-approved RTOs and permit communications during emergencies, when information is needed to comply with reliability standards or to maintain or restore system operations, the commission said.

The second technical conference will address concerns with natural gas and electric power scheduling, including harmonization of the gas and electric days, pipeline capacity release and efficient utilization of existing pipeline capacity.

The Nov. 15 order is available on the commission’s website.


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