Major power plant at Lake Oroville could soon be forced offline amid worsening drought

California
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which was 33% full when this photograph was taken on June 29 in Oroville, Calif.(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which was 33% full when this photograph was taken on June 29 in Oroville, Calif.(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

A major California hydroelectric power plant could soon stop generating power amid worsening drought conditions.

According to state water officials, the Edward Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville could go offline as soon as August or September — a time frame that would coincide with a feared power crunch this summer. The plant, which opened in the late 1960s, has never been forced offline by low lake levels before.

“I think it’s a bit shocking,” said Jordan Kern, a professor at the department of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University. “The fact that it’s projected to go offline just speaks to how severe the drought is,” said Kern, who studies how power grids are impacted by extreme weather.

California Energy Commission spokesperson Lindsay Buckley said the commission is actively planning for the power plant to go offline this summer. But the Hyatt power plant is far from the only hydroelectric power source in the state that will likely be affected by California’s extreme weather.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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