National Grid Gas signals new products to improve system operability

National Grid Gas (NGG) has said it will consider introducing new products – and being stricter on users – to manage growing operability issues.

NGG has to meet strict pressure limits on the National Transmission System and that is now more difficult. Gas is balanced just once a day, (rather than the second-by-second actions in electricity) but because of the need for physical flow it also requires several hours to physically move gas to adjust pressure as required. Among NGG’s options are offering ‘within day’ products in the gas system that allow it to balance gas supplies in the shorter term. The gas system operator said it was considering such products.

But it may also crack down on gas shippers.  Shippers are required to maintain supplies evenly during the day but in practice may ‘catch up’ at the end – NGG indicated that it was likely to be stricter on that in future.

It may also consider charging for ‘linepack’ – raised pressures above the statutory minimum. NGG uses linepack to manage system fluctuations, injecting additional gas to prepare for peaks in usage. But gas generators who need – and are currently accustomed to – system pressures above the statutory minimum may find themselves paying extra for that service in future.

Hear more about gas futures at BIEE’s meeting on Thursday 25 November