California power supplies adequate as summer heat nears

 California power supplies adequate as summer heat nears

LOS ANGELES (AP) - With the hot days of summer approaching, state analysts estimated Thursday that California has sufficient power supplies to keep the air conditioners running and the lights on.

The agency that operates the state's wholesale power system said recently developed solar power plants are helping keep supplies reliable, even as a severe drought has cut into hydroelectric power production.

"It is always a challenge to operate the grid under the high loads produced by sweltering summer temperatures, but our analysis shows we have the resources available to meet California's need this year," Steve Berberich, CEO of the California Independent System Operator, said in a statement.

Agency analysts found that enough electricity should be available to meet demand this summer, even if an extreme hot streak sets in.

"Although the multi-year drought is reducing hydroelectric availability to the lowest level in 10 years, it will not materially impact grid reliability," the report found.

However, the report warned that a dip in hydroelectric generation in the San Joaquin Valley area, coupled with heavy demand, could produce challenges for the system.

"Hydro generation reductions may impact power supply in the San Joaquin Valley area," the report said.

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