Blessed with vast amounts of hydroelectric capacity, the Pacific Northwest has traditionally only turned to natural gas as a supplemental source of power. Sure, gas use for power generation ramps up during drier months of the year, and rises significantly in “dry” years like 2010 when lower-than-normal wintertime precipitation reduced river flows and hydro plant output in late spring and early summer. This year is shaping up as another dry one, but other factors are boosting gas demand in the region. New gas-fired plants are being built to replace retiring coal units and to keep pace with load growth and the prospect of relatively low-cost gas for the foreseeable future is encouraging gas-based industrial growth in the region. Today we look at what’s driving gas demand in the Pacific Northwest and how the region’s pipeline infrastructure is being expanded.