Portland, Ore. —The Northwest Power & Natural Gas Planning Taskforce released Northwest Gas Infrastructure – Looking Forward this week. The report provides a glimpse into the Pacific Northwest’s potential future natural gas infrastructure, and why the gas infrastructure system may change.
Utilities and other users rely on the infrastructure system, a network of pipelines and storage facilities, to deliver natural gas from supply basins to the point of consumption. The existing system has reliably heated homes, run power plants and fueled industrial processes in the Northwest for decades. Today, the system is still sufficient to meet the region’s needs but runs close to its limit during severe cold weather events.
Looking forward, in part due to abundant, affordable gas supplies and existing infrastructure, new gas users are thinking of moving into the region. As these new users come to the Northwest they will add additional demand to a system that is already nearing capacity. Serving these new users may require additional gas infrastructure.
If the gas infrastructure system is expanded, it will likely be new users, not utilities, driving the expansion. Utilities may need to change their preferred gas supply strategy and transportation products based on changing system dynamics introduced by new infrastructure developments.
The Taskforce is a joint effort of the Northwest Gas Association and PNUCC. The Taskforce’s members largely consist of natural gas utilities, pipelines, electric utilities that consume gas to generate power and industrial user representatives.
Electronic copies of the full report are available at: