The Ventura compressor station currently supplies natural gas for heat, cooking and hot water to over a quarter million customers in Ventura and up and down the Central Coast. It’s the only compressor station on the SoCalGas coastal transmission system and is critical to energy reliability and resiliency.
Being part of the Ventura community is something SoCalGas takes pride in, and we strive to be a good neighbor. As we continue delivering natural gas in a safe, reliable, and affordable manner, we remain committed to transparency with the community regarding the operation of our Ventura Compressor Station and the planned Modernization Project.
We propose to install a hybrid gas/electric compressor system located at the existing Ventura Compressor Station. The project will modernize the facility by replacing the three existing aging natural gas compressors with two new electric-driven compressors and two new natural gas compressors. Replacing the aging equipment will enhance reliability and improve local air quality by reducing permitted Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions by approximately 75% when compared to the existing compressor units at the facility today. The project is a critical upgrade that will help keep homes warm and the lights on in Ventura, and up and down the Central Coast. It will deliver affordable and reliable energy to critical facilities like schools, hospitals, and local industry and will support electric system reliability in Southern California. In addition, the project is needed to support the integrity of the integrated electric and gas system.
We appreciate the thoughtful community comments that we received during our workshops and town hall meetings last year. We incorporated your feedback into our feasibility study of site location and equipment configuration alternatives. Our Modernization Project will now include two electric compressors and two natural gas compressors, compared to the originally planned project of four natural gas compressors. Links to the Feasibility Analysis completed in March 2022 available on this page.
Overview of CPUC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) Application Process for Natural Gas Utility Construction Projects
The CPUC recently issued General Order (GO) 177, which requires certain natural gas infrastructure projects to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). The new GO 177 requires natural gas utilities to submit a CPCN application to the CPUC for certain projects. It also requires an evaluation of potential environmental impacts of a proposed project in accordance with CEQA. The Ventura Compressor Modernization Project is subject to GO 177. Information about the CPUC’s CPCN process is available on their website here: cpuc.ca.gov/ceqa
Soil Remediation Project
In June 2022, we informed the CPUC, the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and Ventura County Air Pollution Control District about our plans to move forward with our separate soil remediation project at the Ventura Compressor Station.
Additional Background on Safety Systems
The Ventura Compressor Station has been operating safely and reliably since 1923. The facility is equipped with a series of safety systems that protect our employees, contractors, and the neighboring community. All these systems are routinely checked and verified for proper operations. Safety systems include:
- Emergency shutdown system that is designed to depressurize (within three minutes) and isolate the station from all energy sources if fire or methane leaks are detected inside the compressor station.
- Pressure safety valves (relief valves) are installed on all gas-carrying pipes to prevent over-pressurization.
- Methane detection sensors and fire detection systems are installed in the compressor building to closely monitor for methane leaks and sparks.
- The compressor units are also equipped with vibration sensors that will trigger unit shutdown if excessive vibration is detected to prevent mechanical damage
- The station is staffed by onsite employees who maintain the station, and the station is monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week.