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2 more gas projects clear FERC's gates; FERC expects low gas prices for winter

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


2 more gas projects clear FERC's gates; FERC expects low gas prices for winter

2 more gas projects clear FERC's gates, adding Permian, southeastern US capacity

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 17 voted 2-1 to advance two more natural gas pipeline projects: a 500 MMcf/d project adding southbound capacity from the Permian Basin and a 296 MMcf/d project boosting deliveries to the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. FERC approved Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America LLC's 17-mile, 500 MMcf/d Lockridge Extension Pipeline project and Williams Cos. Inc.'s 7.7-mile Southeastern Trail project.

FERC expects generally warm temperatures, low gas prices for winter

The U.S. is headed for a warmer-than-average winter and natural gas futures prices are lower than last winter, but a variety of electric power generation types that includes coal and oil plants will still be essential to electric reliability this winter, especially in the Northeast, FERC staff said Oct. 17. The staff delivered its 2019-2020 Winter Energy Market Assessment at the commission's open meeting on Oct. 17.

Tug of war emerges at FERC over ruling on eminent domain for gas pipelines

Lacking jurisdiction, FERC would be usurping the judiciary branch's role if the agency were to weigh in to help PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC overcome a key legal setback, according to an array of state regulators, environmental groups and property rights advocates. These claims emerged in comments to FERC made public on Oct. 18 and Oct. 21.

FERC ends rate probes of NGPL, Wyoming Interstate Co.

FERC on Oct. 17 declined to pursue probes into the natural gas transportation rates of Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America LLC and Wyoming Interstate Co. LLC. FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioner Bernard McNamee cited a respect for rate settlements as the reason they backed the decisions.

FERC orders Mountain Valley Pipeline to cease work after court order

FERC ordered Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC to halt construction activities along the 303-mile route of its 2-Bcf/d natural gas pipeline project after a court required federal agencies to again review project impacts under the Endangered Species Act. In the Oct. 15 notice, FERC told the pipeline company that restoration and stabilization of the right of way and work areas are the only allowed activities that may continue.

FERC authorizes Northwest Pipeline to place piece of Wash. upgrade in service

FERC issued an in-service authorization for a Northwest Pipeline LLC meter station that is part of a natural gas lateral upgrade in Snohomish County, Wash., designed to increase gas transportation capacity for a utility customer. In an Oct. 17 letter, the commission found that the Williams Cos. Inc. unit has sufficiently stabilized workspaces and has made good progress with restoration around the North Seattle/Everett meter station.

Groups again call on Congress to investigate FERC approval of pipelines

Environmental groups pressed the U.S. Congress to reform the Natural Gas Act and to investigate FERC's process for permitting natural gas pipeline projects. The groups said FERC has allowed gas infrastructure projects to move forward that have advanced climate change, failed to meet requirements of the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, contributed to explosions and leaks, and stripped people of their property rights.