LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Energy officials say the natural gas well blowout in Aliso Canyon last year that crippled a major energy supply for Southern California could lead to blackouts this summer.
The chairman of the California Energy Commission said Tuesday that the partial shutdown of the Aliso Canyon storage field near Los Angeles could lead to short-term power outages for up to 14 days.
The outages could come without much notice.
“[It] will be very difficult to give advanced warning,” the DWP’s Mike Webster.
The Southern California Gas Co. facility has not fully operated since a massive leak was discovered in October.
The field still has some gas in it, but officials are planning for expected shortages when gas is needed to power electric plants during peak summer demands.
The Energy Commission and other agencies released a draft plan that calls for more than a dozen measures, including conservation by residents, to prevent power outages.
Outages would be the latest inconvenience to arise from the gas leak, which forced many Porter Ranch residents to relocate.
“Well, I’m going to go with the flow. That’s all you can do,” said resident Carolyn Cole.
“It’ll be annoying for sure, but … we have to deal with and hopefully it’ll be over before we know it,” another resident, Joseph Miller, said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement calling for energy conservation in light of the commission’s findings.
“While the disastrous gas leak at SoCal Gas’ Aliso facility may be sealed, today’s report shows that the consequences continue. Our Department of Water and Power is working closely with state energy agencies to reduce the electric reliability risks we face in the coming summer months as a result of gas shortages,” he said.
“We can all help get through this tough period by conserving energy, making our buildings more efficient, and taking other actions that reduce our use of electricity and natural gas. We will announce rebates and other programs in the coming weeks to help residents and businesses save energy and money — while improving air quality, creating green jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I will direct all City facilities to improve energy efficiency and decrease power use, especially at times of high demand,” the statement continued.
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