CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, mediarelations@wapa.gov, 720-962-7411

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – WAPA provided about 760 megawatt-hours of reserve hydropower generated at Glen Canyon and Hoover dams during California’s energy emergency Aug. 14. 

Temperatures are expected to remain high across much of the Western Interconnection in the coming days. WAPA and the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates Hoover and Glen Canyon dams, will closely monitor the system and be ready to respond to additional energy emergencies if they arise.​

Beginning at about 5:30 p.m. PDT Aug. 14, Hoover Dam generation ramped up to support of the California Independent System Operator’s call for energy assistance after scorching temperatures led to unusual high demand. Hoover Dam pumped about 260 megawatt-hours onto the Southwest power grid through 9 p.m. PDT.

Situated farther north on the Colorado River, Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, ramped up to support California’s energy need as well, providing about 500 megawatt-hours between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. PDT Aug. 15. 

Hydroelectric dams are crucial sources of reserve energy in case of system emergencies. The large reservoirs, such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell, function as enormous batteries and can quickly dispatch a large amount of electricity on the grid with limited preparation. In addition to their size, the central location of the Glen Canyon and Hoover dams are ideal for supporting much of the Western Interconnection. WAPA has plans in place with a number of utilities to provide emergency power from these and other dams in its 57-hydroelectric powerplant fleet.

WAPA was able to offset this generation and continue to meet its customers’ demand by increasing hydropower output from other dams to provide power to local areas, including Mt. Elbert pumped storage plant and the Loveland Area Projects in Colorado. 


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at www.wapa.gov.   

Last modified on September 12th, 2023