This article was originally published on America's Natural Gas Alliance by Robert Sumner

The Mid Continent Independent System Operator, or MISO, has released an analysis of natural gas infrastructure, forecasting “continued growth in gas demand for power generation.” According to MISO, this increase in demand will be driven by “an aging generation fleet, competitive gas prices and environmental regulations – and a positive outlook for access to gas pipeline capacity…”

What this means is that MISO sees what we see, that there is more than enough natural gas available to meet the growing needs of the Midwestern part of the United States, and we stand ready to meet this expected new demand.

In its analysis, MISO found more local supply will remain in the Midwest region. This means that the natural gas produced in the Midwest will be utilized there, reducing the amount of imported or transported natural gas to this area.  The analysis also noted that natural gas production in the Southeastern U.S. has shifted away from off-shore production to on-shore production as a result of the increased economic benefits of shale development. MISO adds that demand for natural gas will grow significantly.

As MISO has continued to study natural gas, we have been one of the many industry stakeholders participating in MISO’s Electric and Natural Gas Coordination Task Force.  This task force has helped promote a robust discussion around the reliability of natural gas for power generation and its capability to meet the future needs of the power generation community.

This study addresses prior gas-delivery capacity concerns in MISO’s progression toward gas-fired generation and is extremely timely.  Recently, FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller voiced concerns over MISO’s ability to reliably deliver electricity  in the wake of announced retirements of coal-fired plants. These concerns highlight the urgency of planning and building new generation as soon as possible. Today’s analysis from MISO confirms that such new generation can be reliably fueled with natural gas.  

We at ANGA agree with MISO’s analysis that natural gas will strengthen and grow the overall reliability of their power delivery network. Along with our member companies, we will continue working with MISO and other stakeholders to find collaborative ways to ensure natural gas can reliably and affordably serve the needs of the power generation sector.

MISO’s entire analysis can be found here on the web. Information on MISO and its mission can be found here.