Grid operators urge DOE, regulators to fix gas system

By Peter Behr | 02/22/2024 06:17 AM EST

Four large U.S. regional grid operators are asking regulators to mend tensions between the electricity and natural gas sectors.

Service trucks line up after a snow storm.

Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snowstorm on Feb. 16, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas. Winter Storm Uri brought historic cold weather and power outages to the state. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Four U.S. electric grid operators are calling on regulators to strengthen natural gas networks and market rules to help prevent a repeat of energy emergencies like winter storms Elliott in the Northeast in 2022 and Uri in Texas in 2021.

The policy recommendations Wednesday, “Strategies for Enhanced Gas-Electric Coordination: A Blueprint for National Progress,” came from the PJM Interconnection, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the Southwest Power Pool and ISO New England. The regional transmission organizations together serve more than 40 percent of the U.S. population in 35 states and the District of Columbia.
Strategies for Enhanced Gas-Electric Coordination: A Blueprint for National Progress

Elliott, an enormous storm that hit the Eastern United States during Christmas week in 2022, shut down 30 percent of gas production from the Appalachian shale regions, forcing a crucial part of the gas-fired power plants off line. Fuel issues and frozen power generation left 18 percent of all power plant capacity east of the Rocky Mountains out of action.
shut down 30 percent of gas production


Southeast utilities faced rolling blackouts, and Consolidated Edison came close to the loss of its gas delivery service to 1.1 million customers in New York City, an unprecedented crisis that could have lasted weeks, federal officials said.