It was just six months ago that the NWGA co-hosted a regional conference on the converging interests of the natural gas and electric industries and we’re already seeing some exciting developments nationwide.

Last week Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), released a statement that was exciting news in our office:

“I am pleased to announce that the Commission is planning as many as five regional technical conferences to explore coordination between the natural gas and electric industries. These conferences, which are tentatively scheduled to cover the Midwest, the West, New England, New York, the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, will each include a staff presentation on infrastructure in that region and an opportunity for a staff-led industry discussion of national issues affecting coordination between the gas and electricity markets, electric reliability, and those issues of special significance to that particular region. My colleagues and I look forward to attending these conferences as our schedules permit.”

Details are still being worked out and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on when and where the West workshop will occur. Here’s the key takeaway from our recent press release, make sure when we discuss gas and power convergence we pay attention to the unique nature of each region, especially us here in the Northwest:

“…the Pacific Northwest relies more on hydropower than any other region of the country and is near the top in wind power production.  This can create challenges for the natural gas system as the region leans more on natural gas to produce power in low water years and when the wind isn’t blowing.”

Stay tuned for new developments here and also on Twitter,