In New England, constraints in the supply of natural gas have led to nearly a quarter of all unscheduled power plant outages.
In New England, constraints in the supply of natural gas have led to nearly a quarter of all unscheduled power plant outages. In a new study, researchers used data from power plant failures in the 2010s to develop a supply curve of the costs required for generators to mitigate fuel shortages in the region. The study found that storing both oil and gas on-site could reduce dependence by power plants on gas grids in geographic areas with few pipelines.
The study was conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), The Pennsylvania State University, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. It is published in The Electricity Journal.
“Gas supply issues have affected the ability to generate electricity during times of high demand,” says Jay Apt, Professor at CMU’s Tepper School of Business and Department of Engineering and Public Policy, who co-authored the study. “For example, it’s estimated that the extended cold weather event in January 2014 cost New England electricity ratepayers roughly $1.8 billion.”
New England has no native gas production, so fuel assurance for natural gas power plants is an area of concern; half of all installed power plant capacity in the region is fueled primarily by gas and nearly half of all electricity comes from natural gas power plants. When heating demand spikes on key gas supply pipelines to the region, those pipelines cannot always meet all the region’s heating demand and demand for power-plant fuel at the same time.
Read more at Carnegie Mellon University
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