E3 and DNV GL completed the second phase of their investigation into the adequacy of gas infrastructure to meet the needs of the electric sector in the Western Interconnection. The results of the study Natural Gas Infrastructure Adequacy in the Western Interconnection: An Electric System Perspective conducted for the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) are summarized in Natural Gas Infrastructure Adequacy in the Western Interconnection: An Electric System Perspective, Phase 2 Report.
Phase 2 focused on the question: Will the gas system have adequate short-term operational flexibility to meet increased volatility in hourly electric sector natural gas demand due to higher penetrations of variable renewable resources in the Western Interconnection? The purpose of the study investigation is threefold: (1) to focus the regional dialogue on the most important gas-electric coordination issues; (2) to assess the magnitude of any potential limitations of gas infrastructure to support the future demands of the electric sector in the regions evaluated; and (3) to provide guidance to policymakers, regulators, pipeline companies, utilities, generators, and electric sector planners on actions that may be needed to overcome potential challenges resulting from the increasing reliance on natural gas for power generation.
This study is intended to provide a bridge between the two industries in the Western Interconnection, to foster communication and to educate participants on both sides of the gas-electric interface in a region where dialogue has, to date, been limited.