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NAESB begins work on gas-electric harmonization, leaves key issue to FERC


From the June 13, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 13, 2014

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
The North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) is set to begin developing standards to support an enhanced natural gas nominations timeline that would be more in line with electric markets. NAESB’s board approved plans for an additional intraday nomination cycle and modifications to the timely and evening nominations cycles, but left the issue of moving the start time for the natural gas day up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The commission in a March 20 notice proposed to move the beginning of the gas day from 9 a.m. Central Time to 4 a.m. CT, but gave the industries 180 days to agree on alternatives through the NAESB process.

The alternative proposal approved by the NAESB board matches FERC’s proposal to push back the timely nomination cycle from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., but proposes only three intraday nomination cycles and at different times than FERC’s proposal.  

The nominations timeline did not receive the super-majority needed for an affirmative vote from the NAESB Gas-Electric Harmonization Forum, but NAESB’s board decided that forwarding the timeline to FERC while being silent on the start time would allow the standards development process to continue. The development work is now underway by the Wholesale Gas Quadrant Business Practices Subcommittee, NAESB said. Participation by any interested party is encouraged, regardless of membership in the organization, NAESB said. Interested parties should contact NAESB (naesb@naesb.org).

NAESB said it is on schedule to either complete the standards and provide them to FERC in late September, or inform the commission that a consensus could not be met.

The directors’ actions "demonstrate the organization’s commitment to support the Commission’s objectives," said Michael Desselle, chairman of the NAESB Board of Directors. The process "now moves to the subcommittees to develop the standards and ascertain whether the industry can support the changes through our balanced voting process."

"This is a challenging but crucial task for the industry as we move into a future of increasing dependence on natural gas – and particularly by power generators," said Valerie Crockett, the NAESB vice chairman who co-chaired a 2012 effort to identify gas-electric issues and who is also senior program manager for energy markets and policy at the Tennessee Valley Authority. She added that "many of us will now be rolling up our sleeves to work with the various subcommittees on the development of standards."
 

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Vice President, Integrated Media and Communications
Meena Dayak
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MDayak@publicpower.org

Editorial Director
Robert Varela
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Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson
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