California ISO calls for load shedding

With electric reserves projected to fall below 5%, the California Independent System Operator declared a Stage 2 power emergency Monday afternoon and called upon utility companies to ask interruptible load customers to shed 740 Mw of electricity demand.


With electric reserves projected to fall below 5%, the California Independent System Operator declared a Stage 2 power emergency Monday afternoon and called upon utility companies to ask interruptible load customers to shed 740 Mw of electricity demand.The alert is in effect from 3-8 p.m. PST.

The forecasted consumption of electricity is expected to exceed 42,675 Mw, reflecting a return to triple digit temperatures in parts of the state and higher than expected demand on the power grid. Earlier, the ISO called for voluntary cutbacks in power use and said it was requesting up to 2,000 Mw in supplemental energy bids to make up for projected operating deficiencies.

After a brief respite, hot temperatures returned to the state Friday, when the ISO issued the last Stage 2 alert and asked utilities to drop 500 Mw of interruptible load. Customers, primarily industrial and commercial businesses, agree to reduce the amount of power they use in exchange for lower rates.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported the second of two major power lines knocked out by wildfires in Montana returned to service Saturday. Both lines were knocked out on Wednesday when carbon in the smoke from the wildfires caused them to short circuit.

The lines transmit power from the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana to the west coast. The outage occurred on a section between substations at Broadview and Garrison, Mont. Although both lines are now back in operation, a BPA spokesman would not comment on how much electricity they were carrying on Monday. Each line has a capacity of 2,000 Mw.

He added that the intertie line connecting the Pacific Northwest to California, which has a total capacity of 7,000 Mw, was in "good order."

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