US western utilities switch to gas amid low prices

By Argus Media.

Houston, 9 October (Argus) — US western region power generators are finding ways to take advantage of low natural gas prices even as reliance on renewable resources grows. 

At current prices, Salt River Project District (SRP), the nation's third-largest public power agency serving parts of Phoenix, Arizona, has boosted its reliance on gas while paring coal use, senior marketing representative Kent Price said this week at the LDC Forum in Los Angeles. 

Price said the district is backing down coal units at night to run at minimum load so that gas plants can remain online, saving fuel costs and avoiding daily start-up costs.