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Low water levels threaten to shut down hydroelectric plant near Lake Oroville

The Hyatt Power Plant can't generate electricity once Lake Oroville's water levels fall below 630 to 640 feet. They are currently at 655 feet

OROVILLE, Calif. — For the first time, a major California hydroelectric power plant that uses water from Lake Oroville could shut down because of low lake levels.

John Yarbrough, the California Department of Water Resources’s (DWR) Assistant Deputy Director of the State Water Project, said the Hyatt Power Plant can't generate electricity to the state's power grid once Lake Oroville's water levels fall below 630 to 640 feet. They are currently at 655 feet.  

The Thermalito Power Plant, which is downstream of the Oroville Dam and is in the same generation complex as the Hyatt facility, would still be in operation. 

Yarbrough said DWR is trying to conserve as much water as they could within the Oroville reservoir to make sure there is enough cold water in the fall for the salmon run and if the drought would continue into 2022.

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