CAL-ISO Sees Large Summer Supply Shortfall
If you think the power crisis this winter has been bad, wait
until the summer peak. California Independent System Operator CEO
Terry Winter made a shocking presentation to the new
governor-appointed ISO board recently, revealing the likelihood of
a massive 6,815 MW shortfall of power supply by June.
Should the shortfalls occur, millions of people could face
prolonged blackouts. The only possible solutions are conservation
and significant demand side management, Winter said. The generation
shortfall will be exacerbated by transmission system constraints
that restrict the free flow of power to major demand centers.
Winters forecasts possible interruptions this month of 201 MW
and then a temporary lull in March and April with no expected
curtailments. Peak load in March and April is expected to be 32,203
MW and 31,400 MW, respectively.
Starting in May, a shortfall of about 3,030 MW is expected as
demand peaks reach 41,977 MW with a reserve requirement of 2,553
MW. Total available supply is projected to average 41,500 MW in
May. And then in June, the shortfall more than doubles with an
expected peak demand of 46,488 MW and a reserve requirement of
2,974 MW. Total available resources during that month only grow to
New capacity is expected to be adding during June (347 MW), July
(1,574 MW), August (2,828 MW) and September (2,975 MW), but
hydroelectric limitations are expected to continue. The state is
suffering under severe import reductions, which will continue this
summer. Winter projects imports will be down 2,000 MW this summer
compared to last summer. To make the situation worse, PG&E's
entire interruptible load has already been used up.
Winter estimates that California currently relies on 44,050 MW
of total installed generation. However, a significant portion of
that is not available during any one month because of forced or
scheduled outages, hydro limitations or limitations on qualifying
Of that 44,050 MW, hydro represents about 23.4% or 10,300 MW;
QFs, excluding wind, represent 19% or 8,200 MW; Wind represents
0.1% or 200MW; peakers carry 4.4% of the load with 1,950 MW;
thermal power such as natural gas fired generation represents 43.1%
of the load with 19,000 MW; and nuclear represents 10% of the
state's supply with 4,400 MW.