Climate Change Impacts on the Operation of Two High-Elevation Hydropower Systems in California



University of California, Berkeley




The work presented in this paper shows an estimate of the impacts of climate change on two high-elevation hydropower systems in California: the Upper America River Project, operated by Sacramento Municipal Utility District in Northern California, and the Big Creek system, operated by Southern California Edison in Southern California. In both systems the ability to meet peak historical power demands in the summer months would remain basically unaltered. However, an increase in the occurrence of heat waves especially later in the summer period (September) would increase peak power demand at times when these systems might not be at peak power capacity unless operating strategies are modified. This is a state-funded research study sponsored by the California Energy Commission.

Climate Impact Tags

Extreme heat

Resource Type Tags

Scientific study


Extent: El Dorado County, Fresno County, Madera County, Sacramento County


Last updated: Feb. 24, 2021