Friday, September 19th20.6°C
19716
20950

Gas shortage caused by frigid winter triggers call for power conservation in California

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Californians were urged to voluntarily cut their electricity use Thursday in a rare mid-winter conservation alert, after frigid weather across the U.S. and Canada caused a shortage of natural gas at Southern California power plants.

"While the natural gas shortage is only impacting Southern California power plants, statewide electricity and gas conservation will help free up both electricity and gas supplies for Southern Californians," the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state's power grid, said in a statement.

Requests for Californians to curtail their power use typically occur in summer, when temperatures soar and air conditioners roar, especially across Southern California.

The so-called Flex Alert, in which residents are asked to turn off unneeded lights, avoid using large appliances or equipment, and turn off electrically powered heaters, was set to expire at 10 p.m. Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear if the conservation request would extend beyond a single day.

Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the grid operator, said Southern California has become increasingly dependent on natural gas-fired plants since the decision last year to shutter the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant, which is located between Los Angeles and San Diego.

When it was operating, the twin-reactor San Onofre plant produced enough power for 1.4 million homes.

Record amounts of natural gas are being burned for heat and electricity across North America.

Research firm Bentek Energy said in a statement Thursday that domestic natural gas production dropped about 1 per cent in January from the previous month. That doesn't include Alaska or Hawaii.

"The recent and persistent cold in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest regions affected overall production this month, given that wells can freeze during very cold weather," Jack Weixel, Bentek's director of energy analysis, said in a statement.

Bentek analyst Luke Jackson said gas supplies entering Southern California pipelines have been considerably lower the past two days because of high gas prices and strong demand in Texas, the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain states, which has crimped gas supplies for Southern California.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates most of that state's electric grid, asked people to reduce electric use until noon Friday. Peak demand Thursday morning exceeded 57,000 megawatts and could break the record of 57,277 megawatts before Texas' cold temperatures subside, the council said in a news release.

"We are expecting cold weather to continue through tomorrow morning's high demand period, and some generation capacity has become unavailable due to limitations to natural gas supplies," said Dan Woodfin, the council's director of system operations.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

22689


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15265.35-200.19
S&P CDNX955.06-10.73
DJIA17279.7413.75
Nasdaq4579.789-13.637
S&P 5002010.40-0.96
CDN Dollar0.9126+0.0004
Gold1216.90-10.00
Oil92.45-0.62
Lumber329.00-0.90
Natural Gas3.911-0.064

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.16-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.37+0.05
Cantex0.05-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.223-0.0031
Metalex Ventures0.060.00
Russel Metals35.75-1.26
Copper Mountain Mining2.66-0.02
Colorado Resources0.165-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0249+0.0009
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.29-0.01

 



23171

FEATURED Property
2053959#29 6663 Hwy 97South
2 bedrooms 1 baths
$54,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Disruptive innovation

Last night I was privileged to be able to speak at the Greater Westside Board of Trade business awards dinner. Photo: ContributedI talked about Innovation and Collaboration which are two very interes...


Executors and their duties

There will be a time when you will need to decide who you should appoint as executor of your Will. As well, there may be a time when you will be asked by someone to act as the executor of his or her W...


Power-save your way to a down payment

Part 1 of 2 Photo: Thinkstock.com1. Move in with your parents or in-laws Explain that you're thinking strategically in moving back home. The quickest way to get into the housing market is to ma...

_





23109


Member of BC Press Council


22962