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Pipeline work to have little effect on TID

POSTED July 5, 2011 8:08 p.m.

A Pacific Gas & Electric-owned stretch of potentially hazardous, over-pressurized natural gas line is not located within the Turlock Irrigation District’s service area, but is indirectly connected to one of the District’s power plants, TID confirmed Tuesday.

The local over-pressurized gas line came to light on Friday, when PG&E released a report finding that 7.5 total miles of PG&E’s 5,700 mile system were over-pressurized. That report stemmed from a PG&E study on over-pressurized natural gas pipelines statewide, conducted in the aftermath of the Sep. 9, 2010, San Bruno explosion.

Of the 7.5 over-pressurized miles of pipe, PG&E identified a 12 foot segment in Turlock as over-pressurized. While PG&E would not state exactly where the pipeline is located, a representative confirmed that pressure in the pipe must be reduced 8 percent to reach the maximum allowable operating pressure.

According to TID, that 12-foot stretch of natural gas line, designated STUB6285, is not in the TID service area and does not connect directly to any of the District’s three natural-gas power plants.

But STUB6285 does indirectly connect through a series of gas lines to Walnut Power Plant, TID’s oldest generator. The 49-megawatt plant is not a main source of power for the TID service area, the District said, and is only used “sparingly” as an emergency generator.

The District will continue to work with PG&E to determine how the natural gas line might affect future operations, TID representatives said.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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