Analysis of the Impact of Renewable Electric Generation Resources on Natural Gas Infrastructure & Operations

This study will assess the effects of the increased number of intermittent renewable resources on natural gas pipeline and storage infrastructure and operations.
Objectives
  • This study will assess the effects of the increased number of intermittent renewable resources on natural gas pipeline and storage infrastructure and operations. The study will provide results at sufficient detail in order to allow an understanding of whether any action needs to be taken by the pipeline industry or INGAA-member companies. The study is envisioned to be conducted in 2 phases. Phase 1 would address gas demand by the electric utility and LDC gas systems resulting from changes to electric dispatch.

Problem Statement: Many states have already adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards and will be adding or have already added significant wind, solar, and other renewable generation technologies to the electric resource mix. Many of these resources, particularly wind and solar, operate intermittently and the availability of those resources can be difficult to forecast. The operation of wind resources varies throughout the day as wind speeds increase and decrease. Many wind resources also operate heavily at night when there are low electricity demands. Solar resources operate variably depending on cloud cover and fog conditions. The variability of the operations of these resources is expected to mean that gas-fired generation units, generally either combined cycle or peaking power plants, will be required to “back-up” renewable resources. As renewable resources operate variably throughout the day, gas-fired generation will be dispatched up or down accordingly.

Proposed Effort: This study will assess the effects of the increased number of intermittent renewable resources on natural gas pipeline and storage infrastructure and operations. The study will provide results at sufficient detail in order to allow an understanding of whether any action needs to be taken by the pipeline industry or INGAA-member companies. The study is envisioned to be conducted in 2 phases. Phase 1 would address gas demand by the electric utility and phase 2 would address gas supply to the electric utility and the impacts on the interstate and LDC gas systems resulting from changes to electric dispatch.

Update: The proposal deadline has been extended to February 5, 2010 to allow bidders an opportunity to reconsider their proposals in light of a report released 1/20/10 by National Renweable Energy Laboratory.