Heat Wave Could Leave Southern California Short of Natural Gas and Cause Blackouts

by | Jun 21, 2016

natural gas pipelines The heat wave sweeping the western United States will no doubt burn energy managers. Now is the time save energy, or else suffer rolling blackouts.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the California ISO, which orders up generation and schedules its delivery over the transition system, says that natural gas shortages could hit the Los Angeles area and perhaps cause two-weeks worth of electrical blackouts this summer.

Why is Los Angeles so prone to blackouts given that the United States has an abundance of natural gas? A couple factors, the paper reports. For starters, it’s a direct result of a natural gas leak last summer in the Porter Ranch neighborhood. Beside that, it adds that Southern California is vulnerable because its infrastructure — both electric and gas are already overworked. In lay terms, that means they probably need more modern wires and larger pipeline infrastructure.

“But the pipelines can only bring in about 3 billion cubic feet of working gas a day into Southern California, below the daily demand, which gets as high as 5.7 billion cubic feet,” the Wall Street Journal report says.

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