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Tight Summer Electricity Supply Predicted

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 agency that manages California's energy grid says electricity supplies will be tight this summer.

But the California Independent System Operator, or CAL-ISO, says not to get too stressed about its latest summer assessment forecast, released Wednesday.

"Worried? No. Concerned? Yes," CAL-ISO's Steven Greenlee said.

Greenlee says electricity supplies will be tight in high-load periods when it gets really hot, especially during evening hours when solar power dissipates.

He says last year we had the benefit of abundant hydroelectric resources.

"This year though, because of the way that the weather happened, we are going to have less hydroelectricity to serve demand," he said.

This past winter's relatively low snowpack means hydroelectric production will be down 42 percent compared to last year. Still, CAL-ISO says there is an extremely low probability the agency will be forced to initiate rotating power outages. 

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