Power Lines

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electric grid, said Tuesday the summer electric supply should meet demand for most of the state but Southern California might lack needed natural gas. (Henry A. Barrios / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
May 18, 2016

The manager of the state’s electric grid expects current power supplies to meet summer needs for keeping the lights and air conditioning running, except in Southern California, where power plants might lack the needed natural gas.

Steve Berberich, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, urged Southern Californians to heed calls to conserve energy during periods of high demand because power companies will not be able to rely on the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility to fuel their plants.

Aliso Canyon, operated by Southern California Gas Co., was taken offline after one of the company’s 115 wells leaked, forcing thousands of residents in the nearby Porter Ranch community from their homes. The utility sealed the leak and closed the well in February, but it can’t replenish natural gas supply in the storage facility until it is deemed safe.

Without Aliso Canyon, Berberich’s agency and state regulators worry that high electric demand could require more natural gas for the power plants than Southern California Gas can supply.

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