CPUC Helps Ensure Energy Reliability for Southern California
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today acted to ensure sufficient natural gas supplies for gas and electric customers in the Los Angeles Basin this winter to maintain energy reliability.
Today’s Decision allows Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to increase the amount of natural gas stored at its Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility, located in the County of Los Angeles, in order to meet the existing needs and maintain energy reliability in the Los Angeles Basin while the CPUC continues to consider what actions, resources, and infrastructure are needed to close the facility.
In approving the proposal of assigned Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves by a vote of 4-0, the CPUC set the amount of working gas storage capacity in the field to an interim level of 41 billion cubic feet (Bcf) to ensure SoCalGas meets minimum reliability needs for the region, versus a proposal that would have set the capacity to 68.6 Bcf, the maximum amount allowed by the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM).
“Our Decision today helps ensure energy reliability for the Los Angeles Basin this winter in a safe and reliable manner. We continue to move forward on planning how to reduce or eliminate the use of Aliso Canyon, and to ultimately reduce our reliance entirely on such natural gas infrastructure as we transition to a clean energy economy,” said Commissioner Guzman Aceves.
Today’s Decision is part of the CPUC’s proceeding to determine the feasibility of closing the Aliso Canyon facility and to determine the most effective way to maintain energy reliability if it is closed.
The proposal voted on is available at https://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M420/K154/420154131.PDF.
The CPUC has also acted to reduce the need for Aliso Canyon in other venues. On August 17, 2021, the CPUC’s Integrated Resource Plan proceeding asked for public comment on whether there are initial actions the CPUC should take this year, prior to the completion of the full Aliso Canyon analysis, to address interactions between the electricity and natural gas systems in the Los Angeles Basin. That Ruling is available at: https://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M399/K450/399450008.PDF. The CPUC also has proceedings underway to plan for statewide decarbonization and decreased fossil gas use.
Also, in an upcoming study of how the California electric transmission system will need to change to meet the State’s goal of serving 100 percent clean energy by 2045, the CPUC, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent System Operator are studying scenarios that include the unavailability of the Aliso Canyon facility. Information on this study is available at: https://stakeholdercenter.caiso.com/RecurringStakeholderProcesses/20-Year-transmission-outlook.
The CPUC regulates services and utilities, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.