NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: The SoCal NatGas Leak And Hollywood Lights

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    Wednesday, December 28, 2016

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The SoCal NatGas Leak And Hollywood Lights

    Will LA's historic gas leak knock Hollywood's lights out this summer?; California energy agencies warn of blackouts stemming from the record gas leak at Aliso Canyon

    Herman K. Trabish, April 18, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s Note: The natgas supply to Southern California remains compromised and the region’s utilities have begun moving to fill gaps in the summer and winter electricity supply with energy efficiency and distributed energy resources.

    The day the lights go out in Hollywood may be coming, the top California energy agencies say. As a result of the worst natural gas leak in U.S. history at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, electricity supply in the Los Angeles region could be threatened during peak demand periods, according to reports prepared by California utility regulators, the grid operator, the state energy office and the city's municipal utility. The leak reduced Aliso Canyon's gas stores to less than 20% of its capacity, which could spell trouble for the 17 natural gas generators served by the facility if electric demand is high, according to the Aliso Canyon Risk Assessment Technical Report. That report, prepared by analysts at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC), California Independent System Operator (CAISO), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), warned that "curtailments could interrupt service and affect millions of electric customers.”

    In response, the four California agencies released an Action Plan to preserve reliability in the Los Angeles area. It proposes 18 mitigation measures for the issues identified in the technical assessment, but critics say the plan fails to pose the hard questions about whether California has, in pursuit of eliminating coal and adding renewables to its grid, become too reliant on natural gas.The plan classifies the mitigations in five categories: efficient use of Aliso Canyon; tariff changes to drive more efficiency from large gas consumers on the system; better operational coordination; LADWP-specific measures; and general electricity and gas efficiency measures. Some will entail costs and some will require regulatory approval. One has caused a debate that must be resolved in the near term. Another has sparked a conversation that Californians may be having on for years…

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