The Sacramento Municipal Utility District officially pulled the plug on a deal to lease its natural gas pipeline to a proposed gas storage project. SMUD Sept. 6 voted both to terminate the lease agreement with Sacramento Natural Gas Storage, as well as its related 20-year gas storage services contract giving the storage company access to the pipeline capacity. Two months earlier state regulators voted down the project. \u201cSMUD is currently investigating a number of alternatives, including interconnecting to existing gas storage facilities,\u201d said muni spokesperson Dace Udris. The alternatives include additional interconnections to the Pacific Gas & Electric pipeline and modifications to SMUD\u2019s own gas pipeline system. Sacramento Gas planned to store about 7.5 billion cubic-feet of natural gas in a depleted natural gas reservoir about three-quarters of a mile below a Sacramento neighborhood. The California Public Utilities Commission July 12 voted 3-2 against approving the storage project, with commissioners Mike Florio, Catherine Sandoval and Mark Ferron citing safety concerns and a lack of need for the project (Current, July 13, 2012). Also during the muni\u2019s business meeting, board member Larry Carr provided an update on the muni\u2019s integrated resource plan--its road map for long-term electricity resources. \u201cCurrent initiatives include 100 MW of solar through a feed-in tariff, a new biomass contract, a new geothermal contract, energy efficiency goals, SB 1 incentives, and smart grid pilot projects,\u201d said Carr. \u201cAll those initiatives are on track.\u201d Priorities for meeting SMUD\u2019s carbon reduction goals beyond 2020 include finding new in-state sources of biomethane gas, increasing wind generation, and future solar projects and firming capacity, Carr added. \u201cSMUD has existing contracts to deliver up to 15,000 decatherms per day of biomethane by 2015,\u201d according to Carr. The goal is to also develop in-state biogas options, including gas from a local landfill, dairy digesters, and wastewater treatment plants. The muni is negotiating either leasing or purchasing two properties in Solano County, which have the potential to site 70 MW of wind power, Carr said. SMUD\u2019s also evaluating a 30 MW local wind project. The muni\u2019s renewable portfolio already has exceeded the state\u2019s requirement, according to SMUD. Carr noted that smoothing out the flow of resources in response to variable wind and solar power is critical. The utility is evaluating three projects to balance variable power flows. They include the Iowa Hill pumped storage project, compressed air energy storage, natural gas reciprocating engines, and transmission projects to increase import capabilities. Iowa Hill would pump water back up to a holding reservoir in the evening and release it during the day to act as a backup storage as needed. \u201cThe compressed air and reciprocating engines are kind of new resources, new technologies and the staff is looking at those very carefully,\u201d according to Carr. Carr also revealed that when the California Air Resources Board\u2019s cap-and-trade auctions begin in November, SMUD expects to sell about 16 percent of its initial allowances.