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OROVILLE, Calif. – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced hydropower generation has resumed at the Hyatt Powerplant at Oroville Dam in Butte County. The powerplant was taken offline August 5 due to historic low lake levels driven by the state’s ongoing severe drought conditions. Recent storms have boosted lake levels and provided colder water in the reservoir to allow operations to resume.
Currently, the powerplant is utilizing one generating unit to produce electricity and supply it to the state’s electrical grid managed by the California Independent System Operator. Outflows from the plant and generation will initially remain low due to reduced agricultural demands and improved delta salinity conditions. DWR anticipates an average outflow of about 900 cubic feet per second which will generate approximately 30 megawatts of power. As lake levels rise and demands increase, additional units will be brought back online.
“This is a significant milestone as California sees some relief from drought conditions,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “Providing clean hydropower to the state energy grid allows DWR to assist in meeting the state’s clean energy goals.”
DWR completed major maintenance activities while the powerplant was offline to ensure the plant maintains its reliability and is available for water deliveries and power generation. DWR continues to manage Lake Oroville to balance storage needs with requirements for Delta outflows, water quality, and public health and safety requirements in an effort to conserve as much storage as possible in the event of another dry year.
To learn more about DWR’s power production operations, visit https://water.ca.gov/What-We-Do/Power.