The Department of Energy (DOE) has approved a request by California’s electric grid operator to dispatch more than 200 MW of natural gas-fired generation capacity beyond currently permitted levels to compensate for projected shortfalls in power supply.


In a letter Wednesday (Sept. 7) to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) Mark Rothleder, COO, said the additional generation “may be necessary for the CAISO to meet demand in the face of extremely challenging conditions including extreme heat waves, multiple fires, high winds, and various grid issues.”

The plea comes amid surging natural gas prices in the United States and abroad, with double-digit Henry Hub prices seen as possible this winter.

The emergency order approved...