Wildfires interrupt California power supply

Citing the effects of wildfires burning in the West on electricity supply and transmission, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) called a Stage 1 power emergency Tuesday afternoon. The ISO did not specify the areas affected. But a wildfire in the Plumas National Forest north of Sacramento had grown to about 20,500 acres early Tuesday, according to the National Fire Information Center. The fire has affected about 550 Mw of generation.


Citing the effects of wildfires burning in the West on electricity supply and transmission, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) called a Stage 1 power emergency Tuesday afternoon.

The ISO did not specify the areas affected. But a wildfire in the Plumas National Forest north of Sacramento had grown to about 20,500 acres early Tuesday, according to the National Fire Information Center. The fire has affected about 550 Mw of generation.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. reported the fire had also shut down three 230 kv lines. The power lines carry power from hydroelectric turbines in the Feather River canyon watershed.

The ISO said forecasted consumption of electricity was expected to peak at about 38,300 Mw at 4 p.m Pacific Standard Time (PST). Tuesday. At 4:20 p.m. PST, the load was 38,340 Mw. That's well below peak loads topping 44,000 Mw Aug. 16.

Earlier in the day, the ISO requested additional supplemental energy bids, of up to 1500 Mw, between 3-7 p.m.

It also was advising utility distribution companies of potential power shortages, and asked them to prepare for imminent implementation of the interruptible load programs and-or the electrical emergency plan.

Under the ISO alert system, a Stage 1 alert signifies electricity reserve margins have fallen below 7%; a Stage 2 alert signifies reserves have dropped below 5% and large customers who participate in the voluntary interruptible power program are asked to be shedding load. Under a Stage 3 alert, signaling reserves have fallen below 1�%, rolling blackouts are a possibility.

The state-chartered California ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity on the long-distance, high-voltage power lines that make up the bulk of the state's transmission system.

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