June 15 Natural gas constraints in Southern
California could pose a risk to the region's power supply this
summer, while New England and Texas could face tight electricity
supplies, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
said on Thursday.
Overall, the agency said in its Summer 2017 Energy Market
and Reliability Assessment report that preliminary data from the
North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC), which writes
the nation's power reliability standards, forecast power
resources should be adequate to meet demand in most regions this
However, restrictions at Southern California Gas' Aliso
Canyon, the biggest natural gas storage facility in the state,
could pose a risk to gas and electric reliability, especially
if hotter than normal weather conditions and unplanned gas
pipeline outages materialize during the summer, FERC said.
California state agencies have not allowed SoCalGas, a unit
of Sempra Energy, to inject gas into the facility
following a leak between October 2015-February 2016.
Also, new regulations on gas storage facilities imposed by
California, are likely to reduce the flow of the fuel, FERC
"Given the abundance of accumulated snow water (in the
Western regions), high hydro generation is likely to continue
into the early part of the summer, which could be leveraged to
reduce gas constraints in Southern California," the report said,
adding that snow water equivalent in the region, particularly in
California, has been near record levels seen during the
The anticipated reserve margin in ISO New England, the
regional power grid operator, is forecast at 14.9 percent,
slightly below the target of 15.1 percent.
The operator could be forced to import additional power from
neighboring regions in case peak summer conditions materialize,
as forecast, since the commissioning of about 700 megawatts of
new resources could be delayed, FERC said.
One megawatt can power about U.S. 1,000 homes.
In Texas, FERC forecast that reserve margins in the Electric
Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the power
grid for about 75 percent of the state, would continue to be
tight when compared to other regions, even though the operator
expects to have adequate generating capacity to meet peak
"The Lower Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and West Texas are a
few areas in ERCOT that risk experiencing localized reliability
issues due to strong load growth, transmission constraints, and
limited generation resources," the report said.
For the entire report, please see bit.ly/2seSEML
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by