Aging Power Plants Threaten Reliability

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Nov. 21, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A month ago, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) warned that the state could face electricity supply shortages in 2005 and 2006 and possibly even next summer, under a combination of adverse conditions, including more robust-than-anticipated economic growth, higher than average temperatures, reduced hydroelectric output and additional power plant retirements.

The latest forecast from ISO is even more troubling. At a Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications hearing on November 19th an ISO representative said the planned mothballing of two large natural gas-fired power plants pushes the state closer to the brink of power shortages next summer and the following two summers, 2005 and 2006.

According to ISO, a total of 2,300 MW of generating resources will be “retired” by 2006. An additional 3,800 is at risk of retirement because the plants are decades old and past their expected life span. ISO says the state could face a shortfall under a combination of adverse conditions but forecasts adequate capacity to meet demand under baseload (or normal) conditions through 2008.

The revised ISO forecast drives home the precarious state of California's electricity supply picture and the urgent need to bring more power online as soon as possible.
Read more Energy articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989