California ISO Issues Energy Forecast

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The California Independent System Operator Corp. (California ISO) summer power forecast shows a lower probability of encountering supply issues this summer when compared to last year.

Several factors shape this year's summer assessment, including new generation added since last summer that more than offsets drought-related reduced hydroelectric production. Also, electricity demand and load growth remains down because of the economy. Meanwhile, energy imports should remain sufficient, according to California ISO.

The summer outlook shows nearly 1,500 MW of new generating capacity coming online by July, and a 3% reduction in peak demand due mainly to the economic downturn. Power imports into California can vary, but generally an additional 1,000 MW is expected this summer compared to the forecast for imports last year.

The new generation expected this summer includes nine power plants – two of them wind farms with a combined capacity of 153 MW, as well as a 2 MW photovoltaic solar plant. An estimated 22 MW of existing generation is scheduled to retire.

Utilities can also access several hundred megawatts enrolled in other demand response programs. When utilities plan to use those programs, they inform the ISO through their day-ahead schedules.

SOURCE: The California Independent System Operator Corp.

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