USA: Power plant at Oroville Reservoir shut down for the first time due to lack of water

USA: Power plant at Oroville Reservoir shut down for the first time due to lack of water
USA: Power plant at Oroville Reservoir shut down for the first time due to lack of water
Anonim

Drought-stricken California on Thursday shut off one of its largest hydroelectric plants due to lack of water to power it.

Edward Hyatt's six-turbine power plant was shut down after the water level in the Oroville Dam reservoir that feeds it dropped to an all-time low of less than 642 feet above mean sea level.

A reservoir in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada north of Sacramento was less than a quarter full.

It was the lowest level since the construction of the country's tallest dam in 1967 and the first time a hydroelectric power station has shut down due to a lack of water.

The plant may produce enough power for 80,000 homes and businesses, but the shutdown was expected, "and the state planned to lose it in terms of both water management and power grid management," the state Department of Water Resources said in a statement.

“Steps have been taken in anticipation of the loss of power generation,” the statement said.

"This is just one of the many unprecedented consequences we are facing in California as a result of the drought," said department director Karla Nemeth.

The US West is in the midst of a historic drought that is devastating reservoirs and fueling massive wildfires.

Extreme conditions are often the result of a combination of unusual random, short-term and natural weather conditions, exacerbated by long-term climate change that has made the West much warmer and drier over the past 30 years.

Hydropower provides about 15 percent of California's electricity, but production has plummeted in recent years. Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an emergency ordinance suspending certain requirements so that the state can get additional capacity to prevent power outages amid high demand.

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