Reporting Jon Baird
SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — Southern California residents could face a power crunch just as the summer heat begins to set in later this year if repairs at the San Onofre power plant are delayed.
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports officials have begun making backup plans since the nuclear generating station went offline in late January.
The Unit 1 reactor was shut down indefinitely after a leak was discovered in the unit’s steam-generating tubes while Unit 2 was already offline for scheduled maintenance.
Stephanie McCorkle at California ISO said there are a number of contingency plans in place to compensate for any loss of power in the event of an extended shutdown at San Onofre.
“We have to plan for the worst-case scenario,” said McCorkle.
One option includes keeping an old plant power plant in Huntington Beach online despite plans to permanently shut down the facility.
Another possible strategy may involved so-called “flex alerts” where consumers are asked to limit their electricity use — which would include turning off air conditioning units during the hottest months of the year.
“Bumping up the thermostat a couple of degrees would make a huge difference,” McCorkle said. “If you’re going to be away from the house, just turn the thermostat off.”
While McCorkle could not offer any estimate as to when San Onofre would go back online, she said the potential power crunch will only be limited to the Southern California region and not statewide.