SOURCE: California Independent System Operator Corporation

April 05, 2016 15:43 ET

Energy Agencies Release Draft Action Plan to Preserve Energy Reliability in Greater Los Angeles This Summer in Wake of Aliso Canyon Leak

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - April 05, 2016) - State and local energy agencies released today a plan to help preserve reliability of electrical service this summer in the greater Los Angeles area following the major natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage facility. Currently, Aliso Canyon is prohibited from injecting and storing more gas until a comprehensive safety review is completed and the facility's wells are deemed safe or removed from service.

The plan was authored by the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California Independent System Operator, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. It concludes that "Aliso Canyon plays an essential role in maintaining both natural gas and electric reliability in the greater Los Angeles area. As a result, the facility's limited current operations create a distinct possibility of electricity service interruptions in the coming summer months." Considering this threat, the four agencies worked together to develop a draft action plan that calls for 18 measures to reduce the possibility of electrical interruptions, including a call for greater conservation from residents.

The Aliso Canyon facility has operated for decades to provide gas to local customers and electric power plants, and has never before been constrained at current levels. A detailed technical assessment by the four agencies found that, without any use of Aliso Canyon gas supplies, the region faces up to 14 days this summer with gas shortages to electrical power plants that could be large enough to interrupt electrical service to utility customers.

In response to this risk, the four agencies identified actions to reduce the possibility of electrical interruptions including the use of 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas that was preserved in the Aliso Canyon facility, through order of the CPUC, for use during periods of peak demand to avoid energy interruptions. The plan also recommends rolling out strong energy conservation programs, such as the "Flex Alert" campaign, to help local residents take action to avoid electric interruptions this summer. Flex Alert calls on residents and businesses to reduce their energy use on days during the summer when electricity demand is highest.

Other measures recommended in the plan include greater coordination among state and local gas and electrical utilities, more energy efficiency programs, and closer matching of gas supply and demand by large gas customers. The report concludes that the actions "will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of gas shortages this summer that are large enough to cause electricity interruptions for the region's residents and businesses."

The Action Plan and companion Technical Assessment can be downloaded here. Additional information on government agencies response to Aliso Canyon can be found here.

The draft action plan being released today will be discussed at a public workshop of the energy agencies, which will be held Friday, April 8 in Woodland Hills. Find details about the public meeting here

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal water and power utility in the nation, was established more than 100 years ago to deliver reliable, safe water and electricity to 3.8 million residents and businesses in Los Angeles. LADWP provides its 674,000 water customers and 1.4 million electric customers with quality service while keeping rates competitive with other utilities.

The California ISO provides open and non-discriminatory access to one of the largest power grids in the world. The vast network of high-voltage transmission power lines is supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive grid planning. Partnering with about a hundred clients, the nonprofit public benefit corporation is dedicated to the continual development and reliable operation of a modern grid that operates for the benefit of consumers. Recognizing the importance of the global climate challenge, the ISO is at the forefront of integrating renewable power and advanced technologies that will help meet a sustainable energy future efficiently and cleanly.

The following files are available for download:

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