Friday, June 16, 2023

S&P Global: Federal Inquiry Finds Same 3 Causes Driving U.S. Generate Outages In Extreme Cold - Reliability Of Natural Gas System Remains A Concern

June 15, S&P Global reported on the results of a joint inquiry by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability Corp into the impact of Winter Storm Elliot that caused a wave of unplanned power plant outages in December 2022, particularly in the PJM Interconnection electric grid region.

The report’s concerns echoed statements on June 13 by Public Utility Commission Vice Chairman Stephen DeFrank about the intermittent nature of natural gas generation caused by extreme weather.  Read more here.

"Initial findings from the joint inquiry into the storm, presented by staff at FERC's June 15 monthly open meeting, echo those from inquiries into the root causes of deadly Texas blackouts in February 2021 and similar but less severe cold weather events in 2011, 2014 and 2018."

"The top three causes of unexpected generator outages across all five events were mechanical and electrical issues, equipment freezing, and fuel supply issues, according to the presentation."

“The reliability of the natural gas system remains a concern, FERC acting Chairman Willie Phillips told reporters following the June 15 meeting. Dry natural gas production in the Lower 48 dropped 16% from Dec. 21 to Dec. 24, 2022, with the Marcellus and Utica shale regions experiencing declines of between 22% and 54% over that period, according to the staff presentation.

“In contrast to the US power sector, the nation's natural gas supply system is not overseen by a federal agency tasked with ensuring its reliability, Phillips noted.

"I believe this is a reliability gap," Phillips said. "I, once again, call for some entity to have responsibility for the gas system's reliability. It doesn't have to be FERC, but someone needs to have responsibility for that."

Click Here to read the entire article. Click Here for a copy of the presentation.


-- Utility Dive: Power Plants Remain Vulnerable To Outages In Extreme Cold, Despite Warnings, FERC, NERC Find

-- Utility Dive: PJM Interconnect’s Electric Power Capacity Market Is Sound, But Changes Needed To Adapt To Evolving Grid Mix, Extreme Weather: FERC Panelists

-- Utility Dive: FERC Approves PJM Electricity Capacity Auction Delays To Incorporate Potential Market Reforms

PA Oil & Gas Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - June 10 to 16 -- Leaking Conventional Wells; 5 More Abandoned Conventional Wells; Using Tape To Repair Containment Liner [PaEN]

-- DEP Finds PA General Energy Installed Its Shawnee Water Withdrawal On The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek At Sizes Larger Than Authorized By Its SRBC, DEP Permits  [PaEN] 

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - June 17  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Posts 69 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In June 17 PA Bulletin  [PaEN] 

Related Articles This Week:

-- Robinson Twp., Washington County Seeks Answers To Cleanup Of MarkWest Liberty Midstream 10,000 Gallon Spill Of Natural Gas Condensates After Company Sends Notice To Wrong Municipality  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Invites Comments On MarkWest Liberty Midstream Project To Expose 1 Mile+ Of 2 Natural Gas Pipelines To Prevent Longwall Coal Mining Damage In Washington County  [PaEN]

-- DEP Posts Solicitation For Bids To Plug 23 Abandoned Conventional Oil & Gas Waste Injection Wells Owned By ARG Resources, Inc. And Pennzoil Company In Elk County  [PaEN] 

-- Casey, Fetterman Announce $5.5 Million In Federal Funding To Plug Abandoned Conventional Oil/Gas Wells In The Allegheny National Forest  [PaEN]

-- Bay Journal: Satellites, Drones, Special Cameras Join The Fight Against Methane/VOC Pollution From Oil/Gas Wells, Petrochemical Plants, Landfills, Coal Mines In Pennsylvania - By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal  [PaEN] 

-- PUC Vice Chairman: During Winter Storm Elliot We Learned Natural Gas Can Be An Intermittent Generator Of Electricity Just Like Renewables  [PaEN] 

-- S&P Global: Federal Inquiry Finds Same 3 Causes Driving U.S. Generate Outages In Extreme Cold - Reliability Of Natural Gas System Remains A Concern  [PaEN]   

[Posted: June 16, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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