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Credit: Jean Anderson

SCE Deeply Concerned About Possible 14 Summer Days of Outages While Gas Co.’s Facility is Restricted

SCE is calling on the federal task force to act with urgency in assessing the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
By Lauren Bartlett

Southern California Edison is deeply concerned about possible outages during 14 summer days and up to 32 days for the year because of the closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.

This is based on an action plan finding released Tuesday by the state’s energy regulators and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“SCE will do everything we can to minimize the impact of natural gas storage issues on the reliable delivery of power for our customers,” said Colin Cushnie, SCE vice president, Energy Procurement & Management. “We will expand customer programs to reduce the use of electricity when needed. Customers can help the situation too by participating in these programs. We also are exploring contracts for electricity resources outside of Southern California.”

The action plan concludes that without Aliso Canyon’s availability, electric reliability is at risk this summer. SCE is calling on the federal task force headed by the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as the state agencies — the California Public Utilities Commission, California Independent System Operator, and California Energy Commission, and the LADWP to act with urgency in assessing Aliso Canyon.

SCE also is urging Southern California Gas Co. to make implementation of the recommendations from the regulators the highest priority so that at least a portion of the Aliso Canyon wells can be safely returned to service as soon as possible.

SCE generates about 15 percent of the electricity it provides to customers, with the remaining 85 percent purchased from independent power producers.

SCE is strongly encouraging the joint state agencies and the Gas Co. to use all available resources to avoid power outages this summer, including the use of other storage facilities and greater reliance on power plants outside of Southern California.

According to the action plan, SCE customers also could be impacted in the winter because there wouldn’t be enough pipeline capacity and storage ability to meet Southern California’s total gas demand on the coldest days when usage is the highest. The joint agencies will be analyzing detailed winter impacts and sharing that information at some future time; the current plan’s focus is on summer.

SCE is concerned that the reduced gas and power plant flexibility will result in increased costs for our customers. SCE will do everything it can to minimize the cost impacts for our customers.

SCE’s power generation comes from a variety of sources. In 2014, 27 percent of the power SCE delivered to customers was generated from natural gas; 24 percent from renewable resources such as wind and solar; 6 percent from nuclear; and 3 percent from large hydroelectric facilities. Another 40 percent came from purchases that are not traceable to specific generation sources.

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