Natural gas utilities and the transmission pipeline companies meet the consumer demand for natural gas, with this demand usually fluctuating within a range easily met by these suppliers. |During emergencies or unusual events, such as extended and extremely cold periods of weather, the normal baseline demand for natural gas may be far exceeded by these “peak” demand periods. These peaks in demand must be flattened out or “shaved”, and the utilities require a dependable source of gas that can be delivered rapidly to the distribution system. Most of these peak shaving facilities are required in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and Southeast.
Natural gas is typically redirected from a pipeline and is liquefied and stored, often at satellite storage tanks, until needed. When demand exceeds normal supply, the stored LNG is regasified and sent to the distribution pipelines.