POWER-GRID OPERATOR PLEDGES TO WORK CLOSELY WITH NATURAL-GAS SECTOR
PJM agreement seeks to ensure reliability as coal-fired plants are phased out and more gas-fired units are built
In a move aimed at enhancing reliability, the regional operator of the power grid plans to work with several natural-gas pipeline operators to ensure there is plenty of fuel available to generators when they need to produce electricity.
In the agreement, detailed in a four-page memorandum of understanding, PJM Interconnection pledged to work more closely with suppliers to improve operational planning and address the growing interdependence between the electric and natural-gas industries.
The agreement comes at a time when natural gas is displacing coal as the fuel of choice for power generators, in part because of tougher environmental standards and concerns about global climate change.
Cheap natural gas from Pennsylvania and neighboring states also has led to a rapid buildout of pipelines in New Jersey, with about a dozen projects either approved or under consideration by various regulatory agencies.