Region Will Have Adequate Power Without San Onofre

Thursday, March 21, 2013
By KPBS Staff
Photo by David McNew / Getty Images
Above: The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is seen from the beach along San Onofre State Beach on March 15, 2012 south of San Clemente, California.

With the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station still shuttered, Southern California could face some challenges this summer in meeting the region’s power supply needs.

But power managers say there will be enough electricity to keep the lights on and stave off blackouts, even though two major sources of power will not be available.

Electricity grid managers are not counting on power from San Onofre’s nuclear generator, or from a large, old power plant in Huntington Beach.

Neil Millar, who works for the California Independent System Operator, said that the power supply picture could tighten significantly, and that if there is a prolonged hot spell, they will have to lean on energy efficiency and demand-response programs.

There are also some transmission bottlenecks that could affect power reliability. Due to this, grid managers are also considering targeted conservation efforts that could help to relieve pressure on the San Diego-area grid.