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New NAESB Gas Nomination Schedule to Be Proposed at FERC

The North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) has ratified and will file with FERC a revised timeline for natural gas nomination cycles. And at the same time a splinter group of southwestern utilities has put together an alternative proposal, according to a Commission update issued Thursday on gas-electric coordination.

Specifically, the nomination deadline for the timely and evening cycles proposed are the same as those in FERC’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) (see Daily GPI, March 27; March 20). That is 1:00 p.m. central clock time (central) and 6:00 p.m. central, respectively. The timelines for intraday 1, intraday 2, and intraday 3 vary from those proposed in the NOPR (RM14-2) and the nomination deadlines would be at 10:00 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m., all central time. The NAESB standards will not include an intraday 4 cycle nor any change to the Gas Day start time. The FERC NOPR proposes changing the start of the gas day from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. central.

NAESB said the standards it is proposing were ratified by a supermajority of the executive committee of the group’s wholesale gas quadrant (WGQ) and have been issued for a 30-day comment period by the WGQ membership. NAESB expects to file the proposed standards with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 29.

A group of southwestern utilities, members of the Desert Southwest Pipeline Stakeholders (DSPS), offered an alternative, which was placed in the NAESB record. It is aimed at addressing the unique regional situation they face: lack of storage, the large growth in intermittent renewables and a peak period of demand between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

The DSPS proposal would change the evening cycle time from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. central. The Southwest group also said FERC should modify its policy on bumping during the NAESB Evening Cycle. Currently, firm service (primary or secondary) scheduled in the Timely Nomination Cycle cannot be bumped by another firm nomination in subsequent nomination cycles.

DSPS proposes that, in the NAESB Evening Cycle, primary firm nominations should be permitted to displace or bump secondary firm nominations previously scheduled during the Timely Nomination Cycle. DSPS states that this policy change would give primary firm nominations a higher priority and increase their value, thereby encouraging long-term contracting and promoting infrastructure development.

DSPS also proposes that FERC establish a one-year pilot program for pipelines serving the Desert Southwest that allows firm shippers to submit a separate, retroactive, or make-up nomination during the evening cycle (normally used to make nominations for the next gas day) to adjust its receipts and takes for the remainder of the current gas day.

In FERC’s overall quarterly update on gas-electric coordination, the Commission detailed initiatives by separate independent system operators or regional transmission organizations using lessons learned to improve coordination with the gas market and performance next winter, along with new pipeline project filings and relevant electric power filings.

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