Cristin Lyons, partner and leader of ScottMadden’
Below, SNL Energy editor, JP Finlay, provides a wrap-up of Williams’ presentation at Infocast’s Transmission Summit 2012 conference. Click here for a copy of Mr. Williams’ presentation, or SNL subscribers may access the full article here.
As the future of electric generation shifts from coal to natural gas, that impact will not bypass the transmission system, Williams said at the conference. “As we're swinging to gas, we have to look at dependence and try to see effects," he said. Williams listed weather crisis situations and insufficient pipeline capacity as possible issues. He also said the export of domestically produced natural gas could have an impact on U.S. natural gas markets.
Williams said generation portfolio diversity is important, and he expects new rules to emerge on hydraulic fracturing, as the U.S. EPA recently moved to increase its research budget on the drilling practice. The EPA's clean air rules also will force some current electric generation capacity to retire before planned, he said, and some of the retirements could change power flows and require more investments in transmission. "Supply uncertainty is at unprecedented levels," he said. "The mismatch in planning cycles between supply and transmission makes it unrealistic to think that when transmission comes on, supply will be there to meet it."
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