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California official: State will need to conserve energy this summer

June 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM

SACRAMENTO, June 8 (UPI) -- California officials say they hope energy conservation can help avoid rolling blackouts this summer even with the closing of one of the state's nuclear plants.

Steve Berberich, head of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid, said the state is bringing more power in from other states, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported.

He said California is generating more power from alternative sources, including wind and solar energy.

"We will have to have conservation messages out there and make sure people are aware of the situation," Berberich said Friday. "But we feel pretty good that we can contend with this."

The closing of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California was announced Friday. The plant supplied about 5 percent of the state's power.

Berberich and other officials warn California could face unexpected challenges this summer, including heat waves straining the electrical grid, or massive wildfires.

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