FERC initiates rulemaking to align natural gas pipeline scheduling and RTO and ISO generation dispatch times and enhance flexibility of pipeline services

On 20 March 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a proposed rulemaking and two related orders designed to better align scheduling of gas flows with dispatch of electric generation and to improve flexibility associated with transportation of natural gas. The Commission’s actions come at an interesting time. As winter comes to a close, electricity customers in New England are experiencing a significant increase in electricity prices — increases that were not expected when ISO-New England met with the Commission last fall. The Commission’s orders appear to respond to conditions in New England, without specifically addressing whether these conditions are due in part to extreme-cold, pipeline constraints, disincentives to obtaining firm transportation capacity, or some combination of these and other factors. Read more

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