For the first time in weeks, electricity is once again being generated at Lake Oroville's Hyatt Power Plant.
Just two of the plant's six generators are currently running, with three more set to go online by early next week. One of the six generators is out for repairs.
The hydroelectric facility was shut down in mid-February when erosion on the reservoir's main spillway created unsafe operating conditions.
Crews have been working this week to clear debris from the base of that spillway. The debris was preventing water from draining properly near the plant.
Power lines also needed to be reconfigured this week to connect the plant back to the grid.
California Department of Water Resources Acting Director Bill Croyle says the milestone is significant.
"We're certainly glad to see the Hyatt Power Plant, the water proofing, the emergency measures put there worked," says Croyle. "We were able to fire up that plant today, and we're looking to increase those flows here in the coming days."
The generators are powered by water being released from the lake.
This gives engineers an alternative to using the damaged main spillway for that purpose.
The current plan is to keep the main spillway idle until stronger storms move through or the snowpack begins to melt.