Officials in California activated temporary emergency power generators to help deal with extreme heat. The California Independent System Operators (ISO) requested to have the generators deployed by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) in Roseville and Yuba City. Following the request, the generators were activated for the first time since their installation last year.

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The emergency generators were installed by the DWR in partnership with ISO following Governor Newsom’s executive order in July 2021. The units were deployed much faster in anticipation of heat waves this year. 

Related: Temperatures soar in California this final month of summer

In total, the four generators power up to 120 megawatts of electricity. The electricity is directly connected to the statewide grid and is used during heat waves when cooling energy demands are at peak. The power generated is enough to supply up to 120,000 homes.

Furthermore, the generators are powered by natural gas. They are also equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), which reduces emissions and limits air quality impact. The state plans to use the temporary generators as a support program as it transitions into a clean energy future.

Besides the temporary emergency generators, DWR has coordinated PG&E and Southern California Edison to install and operate other backup generators. These generators will only be used during a level two power emergency. The generators can cumulatively produce up to 80 megawatts of electricity.

Weather experts had earlier warned that the state may experience extreme temperatures this final month of summer. The recent extreme temperatures are not a surprise, but they are a warning of a much tougher future.

Via California Department of Water Resources

Lead image via Florence Low / California Department of Water Resources