DOE Project Overview

Since its foundation in 2010 the EIPC has completed three projects with DOE funding. These are described as follows.

Disclaimer: References to the DOE-funded study reports and other documents, including the Phase 1, Phase 2, and Gas-Electric Study Reports, contained in any independent study or publication do not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendation by the EIPC.

Initial Award:

The EIPC was awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2010 to prepare analysis of transmission requirement under a broad range of alternative futures and develop long-term interconnection-wide transmission expansion plans in response to the alternative resource scenarios.

The DOE funding enabled EIPC to perform analysis and planning for the Eastern Interconnection in a transparent and collaborative manner, open to participation by state and federal officials, representatives from independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs), utilities, and relevant stakeholder bodies or non-government organization (NGOs), including appropriate entities in Canada, with an approach to ensure consensus among stakeholders on key issues.

Phase I & II Study: 2010-2012

This work was divided into two phases. The work for Phase I, lasting from 2010 to 2011, consisted of aggregating regional transmission expansion plans into a Roll-Up Report, performing interregional analysis, and conducting macroeconomic analysis on 8 Futures. Phase II, from 2011 to 2012, analyzed three transmission scenarios, including reliability and production cost modeling of alternate transmission options. During this period the participating EIPC members were assisted by the Keystone Center and by Charles River Associates.

Details of the study work and reports may be found under the Phase I and Phase II tabs on the site.

Gas-Electric Study: 2012-2014

Subsequent to submitting the draft Phase II report at the end of 2012, the DOE noted the rapid changes in the natural gas market since the beginning of the study. In particular, the discovery and development of new natural gas resources and the increasing reliance on natural gas for power generation raised a question about the sufficiency of the natural gas infrastructure to support the anticipated need for natural gas power productions in the future. As such, the DOE provided the EIPC an extension to perform additional technical analysis to evaluate the interaction between the natural gas and electric systems.

This Gas-Electric System Interface Study is designed to provide analysis in sufficient detail to inform the planning, operations, and markets (where applicable) of the six EIPC Participating Planning Authorities (PPAs). In order to evaluate the interaction between the natural gas and electric systems, the study has for main objectives (referred to as Targets):

  1. baseline the existing natural gas and electric system infrastructure;

  2. evaluate the capability of the natural gas system to meet the needs of the electric system;

  3. identify contingencies on the natural gas system that could adversely affect electric system reliability and vice-versa; and

  4. review dual fuel capability.

As such, this study assumes adequate supplies of natural gas are available, and focuses on the interaction of the systems over the next 5 and 10 years in order to coordinate with existing planning authority timeframes, as well as credibly and accurately capture the significant change in generation resource fuel mix that will be occurring in the years 2015-2017 as a result of fuel economics and environmental regulations.

Levitan & Associates, Inc. (Boston, MA) was selected from six consulting organizations that submitted bids to lead the technical analysis for the Gas-Electric System Interface Study. The PPAs completed an extensive review process of each proposal received and concluded that Levitan & Associates would bring the best technical and managerial resources to perform the analysis.

As for the Phase I and Phase II work, stakeholder involvement is provided through the Stakeholder Study Committee (SSC), expanded to include representatives from the gas industry, with additional involvement of stakeholders through PPA regional process as described in Stakeholder Process Enhancements for the EIPC Gas-Electric System-Interface Study (06/06/2013).

DOE Proposal Documents

Disclaimer: These reports and materials were prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, not any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.