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California Drought: Power Supply Will Meet Summer Demand

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The control room in Folsom, California for the state's power grid manager, the California Independent System Operator. The room includes an 80-foot wide system of monitors.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California Independent System Operator (CAL-ISO) said that electricity supplies will be sufficient to meet the 2015 summer peak - even under the extreme scenario of hot temperatures "that happen only once every 10 years."

CAL-ISO released its 2015 Summer Loads and Resources Assessment Thursday. 

Steven Greenlee with CAL-ISO said additional electricity generation from solar will help meet supply demand in the summer and offset a decline in California hydropower sources due to the drought.

"That is one of things that has been helping us for the last couple of years as a matter of fact," said Greenlee. "We're seeing more renewables added to the grid each year as we go by." 

Greenlee said renewable resources, including solar, wind, and geothermal, now make up nearly 25 percent of the power supply mix. Natural gas is about 59 percent with hydropower at 12 percent. 

He said CAL-ISO will be keeping a close watch on Southern California, where wildfires, high demand and "transmission congestion" can stress the grid during the summer.