Drought, wildfire may strain California power grid

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Updated: 6/27 3:20 pm

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) — State energy officials say wildfires, the drought and high temperatures could strain Southern California's power supply this summer.

Officials at the state's Independent Supply Operator said Friday in Alhambra, California, that the power grid is stable, but fire and weather conditions could trigger outages.

Hot smoke and flames from wildfires can damage power lines, and using air conditioners during high temperatures can drain electrical supplies. The closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has also limited the capacity of the region's power supply.

The drought has already reduced the amount of hydroelectricity, but energy officials say they've added about 4,000 megawatts of solar power over the last 18 months.

Officials expect to issue Flex Alerts, calling on residents to voluntarily conserve power at times during the summer.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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