Record snowfall in Northern California may help the state’s electric grid in 2022
The recent snow floods along the Sierra Nevada Mountains are record-breaking. And not only is that good news for ski resorts, but it could lead to a healthy increase in hydropower in California next summer, which will help the state’s often tense power grid.
“It was definitely December to remember,” he said. Alex Tardy, Senior Meteorologist, National Weather Service.. “The amount of snow was incredible.”
The University of California, Berkeley Central Sierra Snow LabRecorded at a donor pass and an altitude of about 7,000 feet Another 8 inches The amount of snow on Wednesday morning totaled 210 inches in December, the highest measured by the lab in December. Snowfall so far has been 264 inches.
“The average snowfall to this date is currently 258%, and we receive 70% of the average annual snowfall,” the lab wrote in a Twitter feed.
All lowland snow and rain pushed up the water level in the reservoirs around the state.
Genene Jones, California Interstate Resources Manager Department of Water ResourcesOn Wednesday, state-wide reservoir storage averaged about 78%, an improvement of 12% compared to a month ago.
“Given how little water we have stored this season, we still don’t want to be optimistic,” Jones said. It was much better than last year. Of course, will the big problems continue? “
The snow levels in the Lake Take area were so high that on Christmas Eve ski patrolman Steve Hart touched one of the chairlifts of Paris Tahoe, a ski resort formerly known as the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
(Wilpaden / Parise’s Tahoe)
In the summer of 2021, the situation in the reservoirs that supply hydropower to the state’s grid deteriorated. The second consecutive year of relentless drought, coupled with sustained heat, caused water levels to plummet.
Not far from Chico, the 6-turbine Edward Hyatt power plant Shut down the operation for the first time August after the water level in the Oroville Dam Reservoir, which supplies water to plants, has dropped to historic lows.
Due to limited water availability last summer, maximum output levels from California’s hydropower facilities could only be maintained for one or two hours a day. According to the US Energy Information Administration..
The 2021 figures compiled by the California Energy Commission are not expected to be released until summer, but the 2020 figures (another dry and hot year) are below normal precipitation. It shows how much hydropower production can be affected when it happens.
2020 state hydropower 44.3% down From the previous year — 21,414 GW from a combination of large and small hydropower plants in the state, 38,494 GW in 2019.
Thanks to all the snow and rain in December, California’s reservoirs are in good condition, but levels are still lower than normal.