OC Power Customers Face Summer Squeeze

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — It could be a long, hot summer for Orange County residents and businesses facing power shortages due to the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the warning comes from CAL ISO officials who are hoping customers can ease the potential for any possible blackouts or brownouts.

OC Power Customers Face Summer Squeeze

The region including south Orange and San Diego counties will face what officials describe as a “perfect storm” of power issues this summer: the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, higher-than-average summer temperatures, and the seasonal threat of wildfires.

CAL ISO’s Stephanie McCorkle said customers may be especially squeezed after two generators in Huntington Beach were taken offline permanently.

“When they hear a Flex Alert, they need to turn off all unneeded lights, use their appliances after 6 (p.m.), and set that thermostat at 78 degrees or higher,” McCorkle said.

While the probability of any shortages remains unclear, Vice President of Operations Eric Schmidt told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO operating reserves for the independent grid operator were “adequate” to handle any potential outages.

CAL ISO's Eric Schmidt

However, Schmidt did note the loss of San Onofre, which provided an estimated 20 percent of Southern California’s power supplies, will have at least a long-term impact.

“It was an important part of the makeup,” he said. “However, over the last year or so, we’ve improved the infrastructure, which means that we can bring in or move more electricity around more reliably than we could last summer.”


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