As California faces an extreme heat wave over Labor Day Weekend, DWR is doing its part to support the statewide energy grid during extreme climate-driven events like heat waves or wildfires. It’s all part of a coordinated, statewide effort to keep lights on and air conditioners running for millions of Californians.
The State Water Project, operated by DWR, is the fourth largest producer of power in the state, producing clean, hydro-electric power. It is also one of the largest power consumers in the state.
During extreme heat events like the one expected over Labor Day weekend, DWR will increase power generation at all its plants during peak usage hours, typically 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Additionally, DWR will minimize water pumping operations during peak hours to reduce the system’s energy consumption. Instead, the State Water Project will deliver water overnight when electrical demand is lower.
DWR has also been directed by Governor Newsom to secure strategic energy reserves for use when demand exceeds supply during any extreme heat events, wildfires, or other climate-driven energy emergencies.
One way that DWR is providing reserve energy is through four temporary emergency power generators located in Roseville and Yuba City. Each unit can produce up to 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity for a total of 120MW. The units can be brought online within five minutes at the direction of California Independent System Operator (CAISO) or the Western Area Power Authority (WAPA).
The units run on natural gas and include Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems to reduce emissions and limit air quality impacts. Since the units are gas-powered, they are deployed on a last-on, first-off basis when demand requires it. This program is designed to be temporary and support California’s transition to a clean energy future.
DWR is also working to support the new Strategic Electricity Reliability Reserve, which will act as an insurance policy for utilities and the statewide energy grid to provide additional energy reserves during climate emergencies.
DWR will invest more than a billion dollars to secure strategic energy reserves including a combination of new projects and extensions of permits of some existing facilities.
DWR is also working with investor-owned utilities PG&E, Southern California Edison, and SDG&E to buy reserve power on the open market. The goal is to procure approximately 1,000 MW of reserve power per month during peak summer and fall months. Purchased power comes from a variety of sources including clean energy. The goal is to get the cleanest energy possible.
DWR is proud to do its part to support efforts to safeguard the statewide energy grid and help California make its transition to a clean energy future.
For more information, visit https://water.ca.gov/What-We-Do/Power.