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Gulf South Seeks Flexible Nominations for Power Load

Gulf South Pipeline Co. LP has asked FERC for authorization to add an Enhanced Nominations Service (ENS) to its tariff to give firm shippers more flexibility in scheduling gas delivery for variable demand loads, particularly those associated with power generation.

"Natural gas already fuels power plants connected to Gulf South, and the number of power plants relying on natural gas is expected to increase due to various factors, including environmental regulations affecting coal-fired electric generation that is leading to increased coal-to-gas fuel switching in the power generation sector," Gulf South told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, citing the Commission's "2010 State of the Markets" assessment for support.

Gulf South is a Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP pipeline. Earlier this year it launched its Perryville Exchange Service at the Perryville Hub in Louisiana with the intent that, along with a system expansion, it would streamline delivery of gas to power generators in the Southeast (see NGI, July 16). Currently, Gulf South's firm customers schedule gas deliveries under one of the four standard nomination cycles established by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).

"The Commission has recognized that these nomination cycles may not be sufficient to meet today's changing market needs, especially those of the electric generation market," Gulf South said in its filing [RP13-294-000]. "In fact, the Commission has made clear that the NAESB nominations timeline 'establishes only the minimum requirement to which pipelines must adhere,' and that the Commission 'fully expect[s] that individual pipelines supporting gas-fired generators will be considering the addition of other intra-day nomination opportunities that would be of benefit to their shippers.'"

Gulf South's proposed ENS would be an add-on service for firm shippers. "As with any request for firm service, Gulf South will only agree to provide service under this Rate Schedule if the provision of such service will not adversely impact any other existing firm service," the pipeline told FERC. "Implementation of this service will not infringe on existing firm commitments; however...some impact on the availability of interruptible capacity could occur."

Gulf South cited the Commission's previous approval of an ENS sought by Texas Gas and said the Commission has found that an impact on interruptible shippers is permissible within the context of an ENS.

This year FERC has wrangled with calls by many for enhanced coordination of the activities of natural gas pipelines and gas-fired power generators, particularly with regard to scheduling (see NGI, Sept. 24). Earlier this month, ISO New England told FERC it wanted to share real-time information on gas-fired power generation resources with interstate gas pipeline operators beginning early next month to head off concerns about unreliable generation dispatch (see NGI, Nov. 19).

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