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Tennessee Gas Pipeline Plans New Service For Power Generators

Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) appears to be offering at least one solution for the thorny issue of natural gas-power coordination in the Northeast by launching a nonbinding open season for a flexible firm service geared toward gas-fired power generators.

Dubbed PowerServe, the project would utilize assets of TGP's proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) Project to provide up to 740,000 Dth/d of transportation capacity for eligible power plant operators, electric distribution companies and natural gas marketers or aggregators. PowerServe would leverage regional storage, linepack and legacy TGP facilities to more predictably pair Marcellus Shale gas with the particular needs of power generation.

The project would provide enhanced hourly flow rights and no-notice service so gas-fired generators could flow gas without confirmation of upstream supply. Transportation service providers, power plants, grid operators and even producers have struggled to coordinate the flow of gas for power needs in the Northeast in recent years. With more coal-fired plants retiring and the brutally cold winters of years past sending demand and price spikes to new highs, power generators have scrambled to schedule gas within a rigid daily nomination cycle that has at times failed to meet their unique needs (see Daily GPI, May 14, 2014).

Kinder said power plant operators could contract directly with TGP or obtain temporary capacity from an electric distribution company or other suppliers contracting for PowerServe. TGP also said it would consider varying term lengths with corresponding rates.

Capacity release options would be available to transfer service to other power plant operators or other shippers on TGP. The amount of capacity and specific assets required to provide the no-notice and non-ratable hourly service components of the project would be determined after the non-binding open season closes on Oct. 29, Kinder said.

Potential shippers would also be able to select a combination of primary receipt points along the NED supply and market paths. Delivery points would be available on the NED facilities and on TGP's existing facilities throughout the Northeast.

The NED project is aimed at providing additional firm transportation service to the Northeast through upgrades to TGP's existing system and construction of new infrastructure in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut (see Shale Daily, Feb. 14, 2014). The project's supply path would be scalable up to 1.2 Bcf/d, while its market path would be scalable up to 1.3 Bcf/d. NED is expected to be in service by November 2018.

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