Gill Ranch Storage (GRS), a subsidiary of NW Natural, has commenced the service from a new underground natural gas storage facility at Gill Ranch near Fresno, which will ultimately provide 20 billion cubic feet (bcf) of working gas capacity to the Californian market.

GRS will be the operator of the facility, which uses depleted sandstone natural gas reservoirs, and will own 75% of the facility.

PG&E Corporation subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Company will own the remaining 25%.

Gill Ranch Storage president Rick Daniel said that going into service marks a key milestone in the development of the Gill Ranch Storage facility.

As this facility achieves its full capacity over the next couple of years, it will be an important addition to the energy infrastructure in California," Daniel said.

"The demand for flexible storage capacity is expected to continue to grow with increasing reliance on natural gas for power generation as the state works to meet its carbon-reduction goals."