Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E) and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) jointly released a positive outlook for summer energy supplies even with the continued outage of the 2,200 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (Songs). Earlier in the spring there were concerns about strained natural gas supplies and other energy infrastructure due to the absence of Songs' baseload power in Southern California (see Daily GPI, May 7). Besides bringing back in service two mothballed natural gas-fired generation units along the Southern California coast at Huntington Beach, SDG&E's high-voltage Sunrise Powerlink transmission line is expected to be in service soon, as well as a 230kV transmission loop in southern Orange County, Barre-Del Amo and Barre-Ellis No. 2 lines. SDG&E and CAISO still characterized this summer as "challenging" from a power supply perspective, noting that if the region experiences a prolonged heat wave, calls for conservation will be inevitable. More than 283 MW of new generation capacity came online the second half of 2011, and CAISO expects another 923 MW to be added this year by July 1, but most of its if renewable-based wind and solar projects that are intermittent and require backup from gas-fired and hydroelectric sources.
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