The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation says it has increased generation more than once at its 1,312-MW Glen Canyon Dam hydro project in Arizona, in response to “California’s electrical emergency.”
Reclamation increased hydro generation at Glen Canyon the evening of Aug. 14, and the Western Area Power Administration called for increased generation from Glen Canyon again on Aug. 15 to help stabilize the western electrical grid.
As the heat wave continues in the western U.S., Glen Canyon and the 151.95-MW Flaming Gorge project in Utah will continue to respond to energy distributor calls for additional hydropower to augment supply deficiencies, Reclamation says. The extreme weather in the western U.S. is anticipated to continue this week, with many areas experiencing “dangerously hot temperatures” according to the National Weather Service. Death Valley is reported to have achieved the highest temperature recorded on Earth since at least 1931, at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reclamation warns that fluctuations in generation from these facilities may cause rapid changes in water releases along the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam and the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.
Hydropower projects like Glen Canyon and Flaming Gorge are unique in their ability to respond almost immediately to electrical system emergencies and swings in demand, Reclamation says. They are crucial parts of the interconnected electrical system in the western U.S.
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the U.S.