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California to build temporary gas plants to avoid blackouts

  • 3 months ago (2021-08-20)
  • David Flin
Gas 238 North America 892

The California Department of Water Resources is procuring five temporary gas-fired generators, each with a capacity of 30 MW. These will be installed at existing power plants and are expected to be operating by mid-September. It also temporarily lifted air quality rules.

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Hitachi Energy

This move follows concern over the ability of the grid to meet power demand during hot summer evenings when solar production wanes. Officials have been working to boost power resources since brief blackouts struck in August 2020 during a heat wave.

The situation is more serious this summer due to an historic drought reducing California’s hydroelectric supplies. California has been retiring gas plants in an attempt to have its grid carbon neutral by 2045.

The California Energy Commission has approved licences for the emergency gas-fired generators for up to five years.