Feb 13, 2017

California Dam Crisis Leaves Power Market Short of Big Hydro

Oroville, CA
USA
by
Ryan Collins and Brian K Sullivan
,
Bloomberg
The Oroville Dam spillway releases 100,000 cubic feet of water per second down the main spillway, on Feb. 13. Photo: Josh Edelson, AFP via Getty Images
The Oroville Dam spillway releases 100,000 cubic feet of water per second down the main spillway, on Feb. 13. Photo: Josh Edelson, AFP via Getty Images

As state officials rush to repair an emergency spillway for the Oroville dam -- just 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of San Francisco -- an 819-megawatt hydropower plant, capable of supplying about 600,000 homes with electricity, remains shut there until authorities judge it is safe to come back online. That’s the equivalent of two natural gas-fired power plants that will need to kick into gear elsewhere in California to make up for the lost supplies, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.