The Women’s Energy Network of Atlanta recently hosted a tour of Southern Company Gas’s Cherokee LNG (liquified natural gas) facility in Ball Ground, GA. As LNG continues to play a larger role in the U.S. natural gas market, it was beneficial to better understand the liquification and vaporization process, as well as understand how Southern Company Gas utilizes this facility’s capabilities. During the tour, we visited the control room and saw how the process is monitored and how the different facilities interconnect, but afterwards, the on-site team provided live demonstrations of the process, which really displayed the properties of LNG. This particular facility is a Peak Shaving facility, to ensure that during times of high demand, Southern Company Gas has ample supply and is not necessarily having to purchase spot gas. When liquifying natural gas, it is cooled to -265 degrees Fahrenheit and in the liquid form, Southern Company Gas can store 600 times more gas, than it could in the gaseous state. This allows them to have one 2 Bcf (billion cubic feet) tank for storage, which we are able to climb to the top of and see a beautiful view of the North Georgia mountains. This gas can then either be tanked to other locations, or it can go through the re-gasification process and put back into the pipeline to meet demand. As a Peak Shaving facility, they are also off the grid, running off their own generators. I admit, it wasn’t something I thought about, but seeing that they might be needed while part of the grid could be offline due to weather conditions, it makes complete sense. As a consultant, we track the construction of LNG terminals, the amount of LNG being exported and prices in the global LNG market, since it will begin having a greater impact on domestic gas prices. This tour and  the education provided by Southern Company Gas’s team has helped to provide a better understanding of how and why LNG is playing a greater role in the U.S. market.