2019 Annual Energy Conference

Thank you for those who attended the 2019 Annual Energy Conference. Please take the survey located here to weigh in; your feedback helps shape future conferences. This year we had 178 attendees and a great speaker line up. We would like to thank our platinum sponsors, IGI Resources/BP, and Calpine Energy Solutions, gold sponsor United Energy Trading LLC, silver sponsors Cable Huston, CMS, Davison Van Cleve, NW Innovation Works, PacifiCorp, Rosen, Shell, and Stoel Rives, and Bronze sponsors Black & Veatch, PGE, Jordan Cover LNG, and NIPPC for their continued support of the event.

If you are interested in attending the 2020 Annual Energy Conference mark your calendar for June 3-4, 2020. If you are interested in sponsoring the conference, let us know.

 

Guest Blog: President Obama’s former Energy Secretary on Why Electricity is Not Enough

On April 11 a much-anticipated report was released by The Energy Futures Initiative that analyzes the ways California can meet its aggressive low-carbon energy goals. The report, which was authored by a team led by President Obama’s former Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, outlines an innovation agenda needed for deep decarbonization by 2050

Cap and Trade Fact Sheet

The current HB 2020 proposal gives free credits to Oregon’s electric utilities in recognition of prior legislatively mandated green initiatives. It treats the more than two million Oregon residents and businesses who rely on natural gas for warmth, comfort and productive energy differently, ignoring the strides that Oregon LDCs and their customers have made in reducing emissions through system maintenance, modernization, and efficiency initiatives.

HB 2020 as currently composed is punitive to Oregon’s natural gas customers and unfair. The state is already seeing emissions reductions from the transition to and increasing reliance on natural gas as a cleaner, reliable fuel for generating electricity. The state is also seeing significant emissions-related benefits by virtue of the highly efficient direct use of natural gas for residential and commercial space and water heat. All natural gas utility customers should receive a fair share of allowances to mitigate rate impacts.

To download the NWGA Cap and Trade Fact Sheet, click here.

NWGA’s Climate Action Principles

Climate change is an important issue. States and provinces across the Pacific Northwest are developing policies to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Natural gas – a clean, low-cost and abundant energy resource – is already reducing GHGs across North America and the region. In short, Northwest Gas Association members (NWGA) are committed to addressing climate change and maintain that natural gas is a climate solution.

To download the NWGA Policy Principles for Climate Action, click here.

 

Study Shows Natural Gas Is Key to Reaching Northwest Emission Reduction Goals

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Research by E3 Takes In-Depth Look at Decarbonization with Focus on Coldest Days

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new study commissioned by NW Natural and conducted by independent consulting firm, Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), shows natural gas plays a pivotal role in helping the region meet dramatic emission reduction goals most affordably and reliably.

To date, all “deep decarbonization” studies agree that getting to an 80% carbon reduction goal by 2050 will be challenging and must involve using energy more efficiently, ramping up renewable resources, electrifying passenger vehicles, and aggressively developing biofuels, including renewable natural gas. But this is the first time a closer look has been taken at how energy needs can be met to serve homes and businesses on the coldest winter days in the Pacific Northwest.

The new research shows that by adding 25% renewable natural gas (RNG) into the existing natural gas system and delivering it to heat homes directly (versus using it to generate electricity), the region can achieve its climate goals without a substantial build-out of new power plants. A report released in September by the Oregon Department of Energy shows the total amount of RNG that can be produced from the state’s waste streams, (including wastewater, landfills, animal, food and wood waste), far exceeds that amount.

“Renewable natural gas takes waste streams that produce emissions and puts them to use as clean energy, dramatically reducing greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change,” said David H. Anderson, president and CEO of NW Natural. “The good news is that we already have plans in place to put RNG into our pipeline system, which is one of the most modern in the nation.”

NW Natural hired E3 to conduct an economy-wide deep decarbonization study for Oregon and Washington, based on E3’s experience pioneering this type of work in California and throughout the U.S. A key question addressed in this study is how NW Natural’s system can be used to ensure reliable energy on the coldest winter days while dramatically driving down greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades.

“The natural gas system in the Pacific Northwest delivers more energy than the region’s entire hydroelectric system. It’s a critical asset to lowering emissions and it’s already in place,” added Anderson. “Today, natural gas sales to our residential and commercial customers account for about 5% of Oregon’s emissions. And with the innovations we’re already pursuing, like renewable natural gas, NW Natural is poised to play a vital role in helping the communities we serve meet their climate goals and achieve deep decarbonization.”

More information on the E3 study, “Pacific Northwest Pathways to 2050,” can be found at
https://www.ethree.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/E3_Pacific_Northwest_Pathways_to_2050.pdf. The Oregon Department of Energy 2018 Report to the Legislature, “Biogas and Renewable Natural Gas Inventory SB 334 (2017),” can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/energy/Data-and-Reports/Documents/2018-RNG-Inventory-Report.pdf. Additional information from NW Natural can be found at www.lesswecan.com.

About NW Natural
NW Natural provides natural gas service to approximately two million people in more than 140 communities through 740,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. It consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores.

NW Natural is part of Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and owns NW Natural, NW Natural Water Company, and other business interests and activities.

NW Natural is currently constructing a 2.5 Bcf regulated gas storage expansion of its 16 Bcf facility in Oregon to support renewables. NW Natural Holdings’ subsidiaries own and operate 31 Bcf of underground gas storage capacity.

NW Natural Water provides water distribution service to more than 17,000 people through 5,300 meters. To date, NW Natural Water has acquired four water distribution systems with one additional acquisition pending. Cumulatively, the company has committed approximately $67 million in the water and wastewater industry for nearly 16,700 connections in the Pacific Northwest.

Media Contact: Melissa Moore, 503-220-2436, melissa.moore@nwnatural.com

Source: NW Natural

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 15: 2018 NWGA Outlook Update

Dan Kirschner, NWGA Executive Director, will present the updates to the 2018 Outlook Study on the November 15 webinar.

The Outlook relies primarily on external, publicly available resources for information on natural gas supply prospects and commodity prices. Regional demand and capacity data are drawn from NWGA member company planning processes, including the Integrated Resource Plan that our members are required to file with utility commissions.

To register, click here.

October 18 Webinar: Natural Gas for Transporation

The October webinar focuses on natural gas for transportation.  Transportation is a leading source of climate change and air quality pollutants. Introducing cleaner medium and heavy-duty vehicles to the transportation sector offers the best path towards a cleaner future. Natural gas vehicles, especially those powered by renewable natural gas, is ready to step up and usher us into that future.

Did you know that “99% of the environmental benefit of switching from diesel city buses to electric vehicles can be achieved for a fraction of the cost by switching instead to natural gas vehicles powered by RNG.”

Join us by registering here.

Natural Gas Fleets 101

Natural Gas Fleets 101

Natural gas industry leaders invite you to attend a luncheon on September 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with presentations on the benefits of using natural gas for fleets.

Interested in natural gas vehicles and fleets? The NW Alliance for Clean Transportation will present the basics in the natural gas vehicles 101. Curious about how natural gas can improve your fleets? Trillium will dispel the myths around natural gas vehicles and give insight on how natural gas can benefit your fleets. Do you want to understand the basics of renewable natural gas (RNG) and how it will benefit your fleets? Join us for lunch and come away with a better understanding of how compressed natural gas and renewable natural gas work and can improve your fleet. Register here by August 29.

More information on the sponsors can be found at the following websites NW Alliance of Clean Transportation, Trillium and Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities.

Do I Really Need to Call 811 Before I Dig?

YES!! …even if it is just a small flower bed? Yes…what about just installing a post? Yes…what if I hire a landscaper or contractor to do the work? Yes, discuss it and make sure that 811 is called, even if you have to do it yourself.

Why bother, it will slow my project down? Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to natural gas, electric, communications, water, and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries, and costly repairs. An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA). The CGA is dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, collects information from utility owners throughout the United States to measure the scope of damages nationwide.

Call before you dig, it so important it is a federal law to call 811 at least two business days before digging.

Every time you dig follow these steps:

  1. Notify – call 811.
  2. Wait – utilities will be marked out in 2-3 days.
  3. Confirm -that all affected utility operators have responded to your request by comparing the marks to the list of utilities the one-call center notified. If they are, dig safely if they are not, call again.
  4. Respect the marks -State laws generally prohibit the use of mechanized equipment within 18-24 inches of a marked utility, which is called the “tolerance zone” (click here for information from your state).
  5. Dig Safely – Avoid digging near the marks (within 18-24 inches on all sides, depending on state law), consider moving your project to another part of your yard.

Making a call to 811 is the easiest way to make sure you keep your communities safe and connected.  Data shows that when you call 811 the appropriate amount of time before digging, you have a less than 1% chance of striking a buried utility line.

Portland needs cleaner transit, but electrification isn’t the answer

Guest Opinion in the July 13, 2018, Oregonian 

Jessica Vega Pederson is right: it is time for Tri-Met to continue its tradition as a leader in our community by eliminating their diesel fleet (“Portland needs TriMet to prioritize electric buses,” July 4). Unfortunately, she and many others get it wrong on how to get it done. Relying on overpriced and underperforming electric bus technology will only set us back in our goal of eliminating harmful diesel emissions. We should refocus on natural gas-powered buses, and explore operating those buses on recovered methane — called ‘renewable natural gas’ — from Portland’s wastewater treatment facility (“Portland plans to turn ‘poop to power,” April 20).

There is no way around it: Oregon has a diesel problem. Transportation is Oregon’s largest source of greenhouse gas emission. Diesel-powered trucks and buses make up a third of the on-road transportation emissions. Not only do these emissions harm our region’s climate goals, but they are toxic pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, and many dangerous health conditions. We are all affected by diesel pollution, but especially the most vulnerable populations of children, elderly and the sick.

The best place to start in solving this problem is by replacing the 700 diesel buses that zigzag through the heart of our metro area. The conversation is already occurring, but it has largely focused on one limiting question: How soon can we electrify the bus fleet?

Los Angeles Metro was faced with this same problem. The LA Basin in the ’90s had some of the worst air quality problems in the world, and their 2,500-diesel bus fleet was a large contributor. Their solution: move to near-zero emission natural gas engines fueled by renewable natural gas, which offers up to 115 percent reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and 99.9 percent air quality pollutant reductions. Their fleet is no longer a significant polluter, and they have saved their customers money on fuel and maintenance costs at the same time. This is a home run, and Portland should take note.

The time to act is now. Every day we wait for electric bus technology to be ready is a day that we make our air quality problems worse. Natural gas buses are proven, affordable and ready to tackle our air quality and climate issues today.

Connor Reiten
Director of Policy and Operations
NW Alliance for Clean Transporation