California Utilities Commission Proposes Increased Storage Capacity at Aliso Canyon

August/September 2023

Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 3, Number 11

The California Public Utilities Commission recently issued a proposed decision that would increase the storage capacity at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in the same proceeding in which the Commission is simultaneously considering the permanent retirement of the facility. Aliso Canyon, located in the San Fernando Valley, was the site of a massive gas leak that began in October 2015 and was finally brought under control in February 2016. The leak prompted legislation requiring the CPUC to analyze the feasibility of retiring Aliso Canyon while maintaining energy and electric reliability for the region. Since early 2017, the CPUC has been considering Aliso Canyon’s future operations through Investigation No. 17-02-002. The July 28, 2023 proposed decision increases the interim storage capacity at Aliso Canyon to protect natural gas and electricity customers from reliability and economic impacts during the upcoming winter months, while the CPUC continues to explore replacement options for Aliso Canyon. The proposed decision demonstrates the ongoing challenge of balancing reliability, affordability, and safety concerns relating to natural gas storage.

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