Lake Oroville Hydro Power Plant Shut Down For First Time Due To Megadrought
One of California’s most important hydroelectric plants has ceased operations due to falling water levels, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR).
On Wednesday, Lake Oroville fell to a record low of 642-feet above mean sea level. By Thursday, the lake stood at 641-feet above mean sea level. Readers may recall in mid-June, we said if the “640 feet is breached, then officials will likely be forced to close the Edward Hyatt Power Plant for the first time since it opened in 1967.”
Hitting the threshold was enough for DWR to declare the hydroelectric power plant had to cease operations. Lake management officials are in a water preservation emergency amid a megadrought and scorching heat waves.
Karla Nemeth, the director of DRW, said the move to shut down the powerplant follows a “climate-induced drought.”
Shutting down the plant is a move to conserve as much water in Lake Oroville as possible. Water in the lake is pumped into an adjacent hydroelectric energy facility known as the Hyatt power plant, which can power 800,000 homes when operational.
“DWR State Water Project operations managers have taken the Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville offline due to falling lake levels. This is the first time Hyatt Powerplant has gone offline as a result of low lake levels. However, DWR anticipated this moment, and the state has planned for its loss in both water and grid management. We have been in regular communication about the status of Hyatt Powerplant with the California Independent Service Operator (CAISO) and the California Energy Commission and steps have been taken in anticipation of the loss of power generation.
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