As summer heats up, power companies worry of potential outages

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Power companies struggled to generate enough electricity needed to keep air conditioners running as the new wave of heat settled in over Southern California.

While that has always been a concern, the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak has increased anxiety about potential outages.

"With that lack of gas coming from Aliso Canyon, when it gets really hot and everyone needs to crank up the air conditioning or whatever, we're in a vulnerable state," Drew Sugars, spokesperson for the city of Burbank said.

Burbank Water and Power provides electricity for 43,000 households and 5,000 businesses.

In Southern California, 17 power plants rely on natural gas stored at Aliso Canyon and its capacity has been dramatically limited by regulators after the four-month-long, record-breaking gas leak.

Sugars said that means any of the 17 power plants could be denied natural gas if supplies get too low.

"What's being asked is all these areas to be ready to get in line, basically for a rolling blackout and if it's our turn that comes up, we want to be ready for it," Sugars explained.

The utilities haven't had to revert to any rotating outages, but officials said it's still early in the summer and with the typically hotter months ahead, the threat will only grow.
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