LODI, Calif. — A new 48-megawatt power generating unit is under construction in Lodi, scheduled to be operational by the end of summer 2023.
It comes after rolling power outages last year during one of the hottest weeks of the year, after the city-run Lodi Electric Utility lost one of it's power sub transmission lines.
"This would have likely avoided the need for us to have those rotating blackouts last year," said Electric Utility Director Jeff Berkheimer.
The new power plant is being fully funded by the California Department of Water Resources as part of the state's Strategic Reliability Reserve Program.
The plant would only be used in extreme peak-demand events to provide temporary power generation to stabilize the grid and avoid local or statewide power failures.
"This is truly meant to be called out only when the overall energy grid in California is facing extreme energy challenges," said Berkheimer.
Berkheimer said the project is on the fast track with city council approving the plan in November of last year.
"This is truly a very aggressive schedule, especially for building a power plant that's this size," said Berkheimer, adding there's a strategic need for it at the statewide level to shore up capacity.
"Lodi was more than willing to do our part, and for us to have an in-area resource which would be available to dispatch if we have a local transmission emergency, and it could avoid potential rolling blackouts... We were willing to do anything we could to get the project sited here and deployed as quickly as possible," said Berkheimer.