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Why did Xcel fail gas service during critical time?



PRINCETON, Minnesota – With the wrench, the gas is restored. And families living near Princeton can turn the heat back on.

But Xcel Energy officials will not detail why they suffered a gas outage at a most critical time, besides saying that the temperatures were too low and the load was too high.

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KARE 11 Reporter Lou Raguse : "Does Xcel not have the proper infrastructure to handle temperatures like this?"

Xcel director of operation, design and construction, Brad Sylliaasen ̵

1; "We do." We created our system for worst case scenarios. In some cases, in these extreme situations, which in turn have not seen for decades, we end with such situations. "

Raguse :" It hasn't happened for decades, but it happens in Minnesota. And people expect the gas to be there. "

Sylliaasen :" And we expect gas to be there for our customers 100 percent of the time. In this situation, we had to do this to ensure that we could provide that service to all the customers in the area. "

All customers in the area except the 152 families who went near 40 hours without service while the temperature reached 30 degrees below zero.

Raguse : "Why are we talking here with Xcel about it? We're not talking to other gas companies about the same thing that happens. What was different here?"

Sylliaasen : "It was an extreme situation. Temperatures we haven't seen in two decades."

Raguse : "Many people wonder why a tool will fail at the time they need it most."

Sylliaasen : "Correct. And as I said before, gives these types of extreme situations the opportunity to evaluate the system and what changes we may need to ensure that we can adapt to such situations. "

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Wednesday night, Xcel needed to touch compressed natural gas from a tanker to keep up.

Corporate managers say that they should investigate whether there is a need for more infrastructure. They thank the customers for their patience, but Xcel doesn't say it's wrong.

"What I could say is that the system could not cope with the load that was put on it then," the Syllasia said.


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