July 26, 2018 / 3:33 PM / 5 months ago

SoCalGas maintained natgas supplies to California power plants in heat wave

July 26 (Reuters) - Southern California Gas did not curtail gas supplies to power generators or pull any fuel from its giant Aliso Canyon gas storage facility during a heat wave on Wednesday, a spokesman for the utility said Thursday:

* Chris Gilbride, the SoCalGas spokesman, said the weather was cooler than expected on Wednesday and voluntary energy conservation efforts helped reduced both power and gas demand.

* SoCalGas issued a curtailment notice on Wednesday that notified customers the utility may reduce gas supplies to some power plants.

* In reality, however, the issuance of the curtailment notice was a necessary step to get a conversation going between power and gas companies in case they needed to take action to reduce usage.

* SoCalGas asked the California Independent System Operator (ISO) and electric system operators if power plants in their regions could burn less gas. The California ISO, which operates the power grid in most of the state, said no.

* Gas-fired power plants supplied about 50 percent of the electricity used in the ISO's territory on Wednesday.

* So, in order to maintain reliability of power and gas systems, SoCalGas was allowed to tap the Aliso Canyon storage facility under the Aliso Canyon Withdrawal Protocol.

* SoCalGas can only use Aliso Canyon as an "asset of last resort" after all other alternatives have been exhausted. The state has limited use of Aliso Canyon following a massive leak at the facility between October 2015-February 2016.

* In the end, however, SoCalGas did not need to pull any fuel from Aliso Canyon because the weather cooled.

* Meteorologists at AccuWeather said the mercury in Los Angeles hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) on Wednesday, well below their earlier forecast of 98 degrees for that day. The normal high in the city is 84 degrees at this time of year.

* With high temperatures expected to reach 87-90 degrees over the next week, the power and gas companies reduced their calls for energy conservation.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Susan Thomas

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